BOSTON (CBS) — Is this it? That is the question on the minds of many Patriots fans heading into the team’s Wild Card matchup with the Tennessee Titans.
It’s rare for Bill Belichick and Tom Brady to be playing on the first weekend of the NFL playoffs. The duo has done it just three times in their 20 years together, with the last time coming back in 2009. The Patriots lost that game, a 33-14 trouncing by the visiting Baltimore Ravens. And after a 2019 season marred with offensive issues, there are plenty of questions surrounding this year’s Patriots as they begin their quest for a seventh Super Bowl title.
Could this year’s team suffer the same fate as the 2009 Patriots? And with a 42-year-old Brady set to become a free agent for the first time in his career, many are wondering if he’ll be back in a Patriots uniform next season. Could this weekend’s game really be the final chapter of the epic Belichick-Brady saga in New England?
It’s a great question, one that has been written about and filled radio airwaves for the last several months. But it’s not a question they’re thinking about in Foxboro.
“We’re focused on the Titans. That’s all I’m focused on,” Belichick said at his Thursday press conference at Gillette Stadium. “We’ll do everything we can to get ready to go and play our best game Saturday night.”
Belichick rarely reflects on the past or looks to the future when chatting with the media, so it should really be no surprise that he’d stiff-arm such a question. Tom Brady did the same at his news conference later on Thursday, saying “I’m not much for nostalgia.”
New England heads into Saturday’s Wild Card game following an embarrassing home loss to the Dolphins in Week 17, a loss that cost them the No. 2 seed in the AFC and the first-round bye that goes with it. Mix that with their 2-3 record to close the season, and 4-4 record when they hit the meat of their schedule, and it’s easy to understand the lack of enthusiasm and confidence heading into the playoffs — even if it’s Belichick and Brady.
But Belichick’s mind isn’t on Week 17, or anything that he and Brady have accomplished in the past. In case it wasn’t clear by now, Belichick and his Patriots have only one thing on their minds.
“Doesn’t matter, we’re preparing to play our best game against the Titans. We’re past last week and every week,” said Belichick. “This is a one-week season, that’s it.”
Tune in to Saturday’s Patriots-Titans Wild Card showdown on WBZ-TV — the flagship station of the New England Patriots. Pregame coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Patriots GameDay, kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m., and after the game stay tuned for full reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter!