, Newburyport, MA


January 3, 2014

Brady uncertain if he'll watch wild-card games

FOXBOROUGH — Tom Brady has a rare chance to do what so many football fans do on a chilly weekend: watch playoff games while curled up on a couch with snow piled outside his door.

And the Patriots quarterback may not even care about the winners or the weather.

“I’ve watched and I haven’t watched” past wild-card games, Brady said. “Sometimes you get really riled up watching the game and then you start cheering for teams to win or lose.”

A week later he’ll have an influence on the outcome — and great interest in whether it rains or snows or the wind blows hard — when New England starts what it hopes will be a postseason run to its sixth Super Bowl in 13 years.

The opponent won’t be known until San Diego’s early afternoon game at Cincinnati on Sunday. The Patriots will host a night game on Jan. 11.

Whoever comes to town very well may encounter wintry conditions, maybe even as intense as the single-digit temperatures and double-digit snowfall amounts the Patriots expected going into this past week’s practices.

“You get less than ideal conditions out there and we play in an environment where it’s not 70 degrees and no conditions like you may be in a dome, or you may be somewhere else in warm weather,” Brady said. “We’re out there almost every day, so you just get used to playing in it, and hopefully, by getting used to it, you can develop the mental toughness to deal with it.”

The Patriots dealt with it just fine last Sunday.

With puddles forming during a game-long downpour, they clinched the first-round bye with their 13th straight home win over the Buffalo Bills, 34-20. Splashing up and down the field, LeGarrette Blount rushed for 189 yards and returned two kickoffs for 145 — a franchise-record 334 all-purpose yards.

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