BOSTON (WBZ-AM) — Tom Brady and the Patriots are on an absurd, historic run, Julian Edelman has the second-most NFL playoff receptions of all time, Gronk won't discuss his future with the team, and more.
Brady, Patriots On Ridiculous Run
Tom Brady's made the playoffs in 16 of the 17 full seasons he's played. In 13 of those trips to the postseason, Patriots have reached the AFC Championship Game.
That's insane—as is this record run of eight straight trips to the conference title game.
But, Sunday night's challenge is a tough one in Kansas City, which is why the top-seed Chiefs are favored by three. Brady expects a challenge.
"Kansas City's had a hell of a year," Brady said. "They gave us everything we could handle. I'm sure it'll be the same, it'll be a tough game. They're well-coached, they've got a good offense. They played well defensively against the Colts. It's gonna be a lot of fun to go back there and play in a championship game and try to advance."
The Pats are 2-3 on the road in the AFC title game since Brady's arrival.
These teams matched up in Week 6—Brady's 200th win as a starter. Patriots edged the Chiefs 43-40 in Foxborough. MVP favorite Patrick Mahomes tossed for four TD's in what was then KC's first loss.
Patriots have won 35 playoff games, one shy of matching the Steelers for the most in NFL history.
Julian Edelman. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Edelman Moves To Second All-Time In NFL Playoff Receptions
Julien Edelman missed last year's playoffs with an injury, so the Patriots' receiver loved being back on the field for a divisional round throttling of the Chargers.
"It was nice to be out there and go and compete with the team, and get a win in the playoffs," Edelman said. "The regular season is awesome, it's fun. The post season, I've been fortunate enough to play in some games, and that intensity and that adrenaline that you get from it is a lot."
Next up, AFC title game Sunday night.
"Now, we're going to go play the best team in the AFC, the one-seed," Edelman said. "We're going to go on the road, hostile environment, Kansas City, and they got a really good football team. It's gonna start with an unbelievable week of practice, preparation, to give ourselves the best shot to go out there and win."
Edelman had nine catches for 151 yards yesterday. He's second only to Jerry Rice in NFL history in career postseason receptions.
"That's pretty cool," Edelman said. "I grew up in the Bay Area close to that family. He's the GOAT—any time you're in the same sentence with him, you pinch yourself. It's pretty cool. Doesn't mean anything unless you win, though."
Rob Gronkowski. (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Rob Gronkowski Refuses To Discuss Patriots Future
Yesterday morning—before the Patriots whooped the Chargers 41-28 to advance to their eighth-straight conference championship game—NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported five-time Pro Bowler Rob Gronkowski will once against strongly consider retirement this offseason.
The tight end was limited to one catch for 25 yards in the win, but he was integral to the Pats' success in the run-game with his blocking, and he also drew a pass interference call that led to one of the early touchdowns.
Postgame, Gronkowski didn't want to consider whether he'd played his last game at Gillette.
"I was focused on LA the whole game, and it's gonna be the same thing this week," Gronk said. "I'm all in right now. We got the Kansas City Chiefs now, it's gonna be another week of preparation. I haven't thought about anything like that, so, just gotta go all in, keep on focusing, keep on doing what we gotta do, and I gotta keep on doing what I gotta do to help this team out to win next week."
Does he have any early thoughts on the Chiefs?
"My thoughts about it right now are that I'm gonna have to enjoy the win—that's what we do, you get one night to enjoy the win, actually, around here," Gronkowski joked. "You get one night, and then, when you wake up tomorrow morning, then it's on to Kansas City. You get a couple hours, so I'll be doing that, and then I'll be thinking about next week."
Tom Brady. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Tom Brady Hears Noise, Patriots Critics
The AFC Championship will be a rematch of the Patriots' 43-40 win over the Chiefs, and KC opened as a three-point favorite. That's no surprise, since New England's the road team, but also because the Patriots haven't lacked critics during their 11-5 campaign.
Many in the media have screamed, "The dynasty's over! Tom Brady's old! The cliff's in sight! Every other QB in the playoff field is better!"
But, here are the Pats—right back in the NFL's final four with the Chiefs, Saints, and Rams—and, as Brady acknowledged—unprompted—in his postgame interview with CBS, he hears the noise.
"It'll be a good game, they're a good team," Brady said. "We played them earlier this year. I know everyone thinks we suck, you know, can't win any games, so we'll see. It'll be fun."
Kick-off is Sunday at 6:40 p.m. Sunday.
WBZ NewsRadio's Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) reports