BOSTON (CBS) – President Theodore Roosevelt said it best over a hundred years ago: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

He was referring to a foreign policy focused on diplomacy with the potent threat of military action to back it up, but the phrase has meaning well beyond that.

Isn’t it often the case that the loudest talkers don’t have the big stick to back it up, and the biggest boasters have the least to boast about?

Which brings me to the Patriots-Jaguars AFC Championship game, airing Sunday afternoon on WBZ-TV.

afc Keller @ Large: Patriots Speak Softly And Carry A Big Stick

The Lamar Hunt AFC Championship Trophy on display at Gillette Stadium. (WBZ-TV)

I follow sports pretty closely, and here’s what I’ve heard this week – a Jaguar bragging that they’re headed for the Super Bowl… all sorts of talk about how awesome the Jags defense is… and the usual speculation by the NFL’s bitter, jealous losers about Tom Brady’s alleged decline, and alleged dissension between him, the coach, and the owners.

Meanwhile, the Patriots have been speaking softly.

According to Coach Belichick, the Jaguars are the greatest show on turf. From the players, of course, it’s what Coach Belichick said.

And the latest wrinkle is Brady’s banged-up hand. Oh no, the sky is falling, right?

Wrong.

Here is my humble prediction for Sunday’s game.

The Jaguars come out itching to knock Brady down and fall on that injured hand. The Pats counter by handing off to Dion Lewis, running draw plays and screen passes to counter the big pass rush, eating up time and yards and leaving the Jags defense gassed for the second half, at which point Brady experiences a miraculous recovery and picks them apart with the passing game.

Speaking softly and wielding a big stick, that’s the Patriot way.

Let the game begin.

Share your thoughts with me via email at keller@wbztv.com, or you can reach me on Twitter, @kelleratlarge.

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