The New England Patriots are well aware of the noise.
While New England has featured an unmatched ability to maintain tunnel vision throughout the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era, it’s become abundantly clear that the 2018 Patriots have been fueled by the doubters.
The “bet against us” rallying cry has provided a jolt to the Pats, who stunned many by downing the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game even though they have “no defense” and feature a quarterback that’s “too old.”
Those critics were supposed to be the focal point of Devin McCourty’s pregame speech at Arrowhead Stadium, but the veteran safety ended up switching gears after recognizing what was most important.
“I had this whole speech about the people that doubted us, proving them wrong,” McCourty said, via NFL Films. “Then I realized that don’t matter. This game tonight is about us. Our journey, trusting each other, loving each other, playing for each other tonight. That’s what it’s about, nobody else.”
The Patriots likely will keep that chip on their shoulder when they square off with the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII. But as McCourty noted, New England’s primary focus must be execution and “doing your job” as it looks to hoist the Lombardi Trophy for the second time in three years.