Few teams have been able to knock off the New England Patriots in the postseason during the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era.
During the duo’s 18 seasons together in New England, the Patriots have reached 12 AFC Championship Games, and Sunday, they’ll be appearing in their eighth Super Bowl in search of the franchise’s sixth Lombardi Trophy.
So what does it take to beat the Patriots in the playoffs? One NFL star who managed to help do it has a few tips.
Von Miller recently penned an essay for The Players’ Tribune bluntly titled “How to Beat the Patriots.” Miller and the Denver Broncos accomplished this feat in 2015, taking down the Patriots in the AFC title game en route to a Super Bowl 50 victory. Considering Miller’s forte is rushing the passer, it comes as no surprise that his primary key is getting to Brady.
“To beat the Patriots, you have to sack Tom Brady. You need to do it with a legit threat coming from both sides while rushing only four guys, and you have to do it for four quarters. You have to play mistake-free football. You can’t get caught up in the Tom Brady hype or the Patriots lore. You have to play your game.
“I could add in a lot of other little things, like you not letting Tom dink and dunk you to death … getting off the field on third down … having an offense that can score points, because you know Tom’s always gonna get his. You need all that, too.
“Basically, to beat the Patriots, you need to play the perfect game.”
But even if you manage to get Brady to the ground, New England more often than not makes adjustments and finds a way to pick up a win. Miller clearly is aware of this notion, as he continued by explaining that luck certainly plays a factor in beating the Patriots.
“You need the football gods to bless you. You need a helmet catch or something crazy to go your way at just the right time. Because Tom Brady is good at reading defenses, but he’s not the best — Peyton was the best at that. Tom is definitely cerebral, but he may not have the strongest arm. He may not be the most accurate.
“But his overall game is just so much greater than the sum of its parts.
“And Tom Brady just wins.”
If Brady “just wins” this Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, it only would further cement his position as the greatest NFL quarterback of all time.
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