Patriots embracing rare role as underdogs heading into AFC title game

Fox and Bruschi like the Pats to advance to the Super Bowl. (1:38)

John Fox and Tedy Bruschi break down how Chris Jones and Tyreek Hill need to be contained in order for the Patriots to win. (1:38)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Bet Against Us.

Most weeks, that slogan would be appropriate for the New England Patriots' opponents. This week, however, it's what wide receiver Julian Edelman is rolling with as the Patriots enter the AFC Championship Game as underdogs against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Edelman and the Patriots are consensus 3-point underdogs against the top-seeded Chiefs -- the first time that New England, with quarterback Tom Brady, has been an underdog since Week 2 of the 2015 season against the Buffalo Bills.

The last time the Patriots were underdogs entering a playoff game was January 2014, when they went to Denver and lost to Peyton Manning and the Broncos.

The Patriots have apparently noticed the anomaly. And they're jumping on the opportunity to use it to their advantage.

Edelman posted a hype video Wednesday on his Twitter account with the accompanying hashtag #BETAGAINSTUS. He followed with a link selling T-shirts that say "Bet Against Us" in a silhouette of the Patriots logo.

Edelman was unavailable for comment Wednesday during an open locker room.

Calling the Patriots underdogs almost seems like an oxymoron considering their overwhelming success in recent years. This is their eighth straight AFC Championship Game appearance, and they are looking to reach their third straight Super Bowl and fourth in five years.

Brady was asked Wednesday about what it feels like to be underdogs several days after saying "everybody thinks we suck and can't win any games" following a 41-28 divisional-round demolition of the Los Angeles Chargers.

He began with a shoulder shrug and a smile.

"Doesn't change much for us," Brady said. "It shows you, kind of, what people would think of what our chances are. That is about it.

"No more added comments," he added with a big smile.

Does it at least provide added motivation for a team so used to being the hunted?

"If you're not motivated this week, you've got major problems," Brady said. "This is the week where you shouldn't have to put everything extra in. This is what it's all about. You sign up any chance you get to play in an AFC Championship Game. I don't care where, when, time, cold, weather, rain, blood. Don't matter."

The latter part of the response mirrored the message of coach Bill Belichick earlier in the day.

Chiefs edge rusher Justin Houston laughed at the notion of the Patriots sucking or being looked at as underdogs.

"Yes, I think [Brady's] just trying to get himself and everybody else over there fired up," Houston told reporters Wednesday. "Everybody knows it's the Patriots. It's their eighth year of winning, making it to the AFC Championship. I think it's for himself and the Patriots."

Regardless, it's not going to earn them any extra points Sunday or special treatment this week. It's business as usual in Foxborough.

"Bill doesn't treat us any different if we're underdogs or favorites or any of that," Patriots safety Devin McCourty said. "It's all about just being ready to go out there and win a football game."

Only this time if they win it can be viewed as an upset. But as Edelman's T-shirts note, doubt them at your own peril.