"I hate everything about them. They're always in my way. They're always in my way to get what I want."
"I've got a ton of respect for the whole organization. They've got great players. Tom Brady's a great player. Bill Belichick's a great coach. I've got a ton of respect for them. I just hate them."
And the rest of the AFC may not say it, but they're sure as heck thinking it. The Patriots will play in their sixth consecutive AFC Championship Game this Sunday and are already favored by almost a touchdown. To put that streak another way, last time New England wasn't in an AFC title game, "Tik Tok" was the number one song on the charts. Yeah.
And with that AFC Championship berth comes the chance for Tom Brady to demolish yet another record, this time at the expense of the baller he wanted to be as a kid - Joe Montana.
Pro Football Reference, AKA football nerdvana, took a look at who's thrown the most touchdowns in a championship game, and, well, would you look at that:
That'd be Tom Brady, currently with 12 touchdowns in championship games, breathing down Joe Montana's neck. Montana slung a cool 13 touchdowns in championship games, which, given that he played in 6 of them, is pretty impressive (and in an era where defensive backs could still mug receivers, nonetheless).
Meanwhile, Brady is just one touchdown from tying Joe Cool for the all-time lead, and he's going up against a Steelers pass defense that's gotten notably better since they played each other in Week 7. Pro Football Focus had the Steelers secondary ranked 22nd out of 32 in the league going into Week 7, putting them in such esteemed company as the Buccaneers (25th), Titans (27th), and...wait for it...the Cleveland Browns (actually 20th!), but Pittsburgh's DB's got their respective stuff together in the second half of the season and pulled their PFF grade up to 11th in the league.
Brady threw for 2 touchdowns and 222 yards against the Steelers in October, and it's worth noting that game was at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, and this game, obviously, is at Gillette.
Seems like the only question is who's going to be the lucky guy that catches the touchdown bomb that break's Montana's record and puts Brady in sole possession of yet another spot in the playoff record books.
And not to get too far ahead of ourselves (OK, maybe a little bit), but if TB12 makes it to another Super Bowl, he'll have a shot at breaking one of Montana's personal records that he tied two years ago.
That, of course, being Super Bowl titles - Montana and Brady are both four-time world champs.
Actually, wait, scratch that, there's another one too - Montana and Brady both have three Super Bowl MVP's to their names right now, too.
Right. Anyway, on to Pittsburgh.