BOSTON (CBS) — There is only one game on the NFL schedule bigger than the conference championships, and four teams will battle this weekend to make it to that big game.
That includes the New England Patriots, who will be in Kansas City to take on the top-seeded Chiefs. It’s the eighth straight AFC Championship Game for Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the Patriots, who are looking to partake in their third straight Super Bowl.
But their lengthy resume doesn’t take away from how special — and important — Sunday’s tilt is in the grand scheme of things. It’s conjuring up some feelings from Belichick, who on Friday, admitted that he does indeed feel feelings. And we’re not just talking about anger toward NFL referees or love of Jersey rockers.
Those feelings are nerves. Yes, even a seven-time Super Bowl champ still gets nervous ahead of football games.
“Yeah, every week,” the Patriots head coach said at Gillette Stadium on Friday.
Asked if those nerves are heightened for a game like the AFC Championship, Belichick made sure not to diminish any of the other 17 contests on his team’s slate.
“They all count in this league. Let me know the next game that doesn’t matter so I can take that into account,” Belichick said with a smirk. “I’ll make sure I don’t get excited for those.”
Excitement would be another emotion we don’t see too much out of Belichick, so we’ll just have to take his word for it. But after having some fun with NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran, Belichick expounded on those jitters he feels ahead of games.
“You want to go out and do well. There is an anxiety; we all have things in the game we have to do and you want to perform them well and not let your team down,” he said. “Everyone is counting on you to do your job, you’re counting on everyone else to do theirs. You don’t worry about everyone else, you just worry what you can do and make sure you don’t screw up what you’re responsible for. Because nobody else can do that, that’s your job. We all have jobs to do and we all want to do them well.”
Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Chiefs AFC Championship Game on WBZ-TV — the flagship station of the New England Patriots. Coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. with a special 90-minute edition of Patriots GameDay, kickoff is set for 6:40 p.m., and after the game stay tuned for full reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter!