BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots enter the divisional round as massive favorites over the Houston Texans, but Tom Brady has been around long enough to know that such things don’t matter much once football games actually begin.

“It’s going to be a tough fight,” the quarterback said Thursday at Gillette Stadium. “I think we’re going to have to play well for 60 minutes. I think it’s what it comes down to for this game. There’s going to be plays that we don’t make, there’s going to be plays that we make, and I think we just have to stay consistent for the entire game. There’s been some ups this year, there’s been some downs. You’d like every play to be perfect, but that’s not the way it always goes. But we’re going to go out there and try to do our best.”

With this game being the 32nd postseason start of his career, Brady’s been through just about everything in January. Some of his teammates are less-experienced, so he was asked if he’s seen some former teammates succumb to the pressures of playoff football.

“I’m not sure. I just think, there’s sometimes you play well, there’s sometimes you don’t play well. You hope it’s not in these particular weeks,” Brady said. “There’s a lot of focus and attention, and you’re putting a lot of concentration onto each play, because you know you’re not promised next week. So we have to go earn that. And our guys have been focused on that. Coach has talked a lot about that. And it’s going to be a big test for our offense.”

Brady said he leaves the monitoring of teammates’ emotions and mental states to the coaching staff. As for his own preparation, he feels he’s doing what needs to be done.

“There’s a lot to prepare for — mentally, physically, emotionally,” Brady said. “You’re always trying to find the right balance. But I feel like I’m in a good place.”

And with the MVP debate rekindled in the national sports conversation after Aaron Rodgers’ eye-popping performance last weekend (even though playoff performances don’t count toward MVP voting), Brady unsurprisingly said he’s much more focused on the task at hand than any postseason awards.

“I think it’s, for us, it’s about what this team can accomplish,” Brady said. “Those are very nice things to have, to win a certain award, but I think for me the most important thing has always been what our team can achieve. And our goals are still ahead of us.”


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