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Tom Brady: Nobody will be picking the Patriots this week

Tom Brady (Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Tom Brady has won the AFC Championship Game five times. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Tom Brady is playing up the Patriots as an underdog this week as they prepare for the AFC Championship Game in Denver.

Despite beating the Broncos in Week 12, New England has opened as a five-point underdog for Sunday. And Brady said in an interview on the "Dennis & Callahan" show on WEEI in Boston on Monday that it was the right role for his team.

“I know when we played Baltimore no one picked us to win and no one's gonna pick us to win this week,” Brady said around the 14:45 mark of the interview. “We’ve had our backs against the wall for a while, really the whole season. We’ve lost players and teams have really counted us out. We’ve got a bunch of underdogs on our team and we’ll be underdogs again. We’ll see how that shakes out at the end of the week.”

BURKE: An early look at the AFC, NFC Championship Games

The Patriots won 44-7 in Baltimore in Week 16.

Brady is 10-4 in his career against Peyton Manning, including 2-1 in the playoffs, but Denver is 15-3 at home in Manning's two seasons with the Broncos.

New England will be playing in the AFC Championship Game for the third straight year and has won five of its last seven trips to the conference title game.

Brady threw 25 touchdown passes in the regular season, failing to reach 30 for the first time since 2009, and he didn't throw any in Saturday's win over the Colts. He also has three straight games with fewer than 200 yards passing.

BURKE: Peyton Manning may consider retirement after offseason neck exam

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