‘The game’s going to be decided by who plays the best, not who hypes the best’

Tom Brady New England Patriots
Tom Brady celebrates a touchdown during the second half of the Patriots' divisional playoff game against the Tennessee Titans. –AP Photo/Stew Milne

The only thing Tom Brady is focused on is his next football game, or more specifically, winning his next football game.

The 40-year-old quarterback isn’t paying attention to Jacksonville’s trash talk, Josh McDaniels’s job statusESPN’s recent reports, or anything else that doesn’t directly pertain to New England’s upcoming game against the Jaguars.

“I don’t think we’re going to let anything get in the way of this week,” Brady told WEEI’s Kirk and Callahan Tuesday morning. “There’s more hype surrounding the game, there’s more distractions, there’s more people, there’s more people covering the team, there’s more things to talk about, but we’re focused on our job.”

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Brady’s very much aware of the nonstop chatter and buzz surrounding the team, but the five-time Super Bowl champion understands ultimately what matters is what happens on the football field come Sunday.

“The hype only gets bigger from here, but we just got to stay focused on what we need to do and stay with the things that have been working this season,” he said on the radio program. “We’re trying to go out there and continue to do what we’ve done and try to go beat the best football team we’ve played.”

Crediting head coach Bill Belichick for setting the tone in the locker room, Brady said the Patriots know what it takes to compete in the postseason — and are going to do everything within their control to, once again, extend their playoff run. New England will be playing in its league-record seventh straight AFC Championship, with hopes of advancing to Super Bowl LII to defend their title.

“What I’ve learned over a long time is it’s how you play, it’s not what you say,” Brady said. “Everyone has different ways of handling things. Coaches do, players do — we do what works for us, other players do what works for them. But the game’s going to be decided by who plays the best, not who hypes the best or speaks the best.”

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Brady emphasized that it’s going to require a full-team effort to earn a Patriots’ victory, for the margin of error will be slim. Highlighting the Jaguars’ pass rush and overall defense, he called his next opponents “the best team [he’s] faced all season.”

“This is not a team where you can have any lapses,” he said. “I think this team that we’re facing challenges you in every single play and every part of the field. They’re explosive. They have eight touchdowns on defense. These guys can play football.”

Between now and game day, Brady will continue watching film and honing in on improving his execution of certain plays in practice.

“I know what our offense is capable of,” he said. “The better we stay focused, the more laser-focused we are in our targets, the better we’ll play.

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