BOSTON (CBS) – The New England Patriots may have earned a first-round bye, but quarterback Tom Brady and the rest of his teammates were on the practice field early Wednesday morning as they start to prepare for next Saturday’s AFC Divisional Playoff game at Gillette Stadium.

“We got off to a good start today. It’s important to keep the pedal to the metal; there are a lot of teams working to get better this week playing games. We can get better and not play,” said Brady. “It’s important for us to go out and be focused, try to do a great job at what the coaches have talked to us about, the details and particular plays and why they’ve worked and haven’t worked. Just try to make some improvements.”

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The bye gives the Patriots a week to do some self-scouting and self-evaluation, something Brady said the team hasn’t been able to do since their Monday Night Football loss to the Carolina Panthers in mid-November. The extra week also gives their injured players some extra time to heal up, preparing for whoever will come to town next weekend.

Brady knows whoever comes into Foxboro next Saturday night, it’s not going to be an easy match-up.

“Regardless of who we play we have to play really well; at our best,” Brady said. “It’s important for us to be really focused during our meetings and when we practice in these types of conditions where it’s was a cold and windy day. We might get one of those, [so it’s important] to try to be as mentally and physical prepared as we can possible be. We’ve worked really hard to get to this point and you don’t get these opportunities very often. It’s in our best interest to be at our very best and not let anything get in our way of what we’re trying to accomplish.”

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“When we play next Saturday night, the team that plays the best is going to win. The only thing we can do now is prepare to play,” he said. “There are a lot of things we can do better and that we’re going to need to do better. The margin of error at this point is not big, it’s very small.”

The Patriots will face either the Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts or Cincinnati Bengals — whoever is the higher seed to come out of Wild Card weekend. Brady has plenty of bye-week experience, but isn’t sure if he’ll be tuning in to the two AFC playoff games this weekend.

“I’ve watched and I haven’t watched. Sometimes you get really riled up watching the games and you start cheering for teams to win or lose,” he said. “You don’t want to ride the wave so I’ll use my time the best possible way to prepare myself. Whatever it needs to be, that’s what it’ll be.”

Tune in to the Patriots playoff games on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV — the flagship stations of the New England Patriots!

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