MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The Patriots, led by veterans like quarterback Tom Brady and linebacker James Harrison, have played--and won--big games before.
Now, playing in the Super Bowl once again, they intend to act like it.
"I'm pretty calm all the time," Brady said. "I've been around for a long time, I kind of know the experiences."
It's a world of difference from Philadelphia's approach, a team whose fans have embraced an underdog role in the run-up to the Super Bowl--symbolized by a series of distinctive dog masks fans wore at the NFC Championship game two weeks ago against the Vikings.
Despite entering most games as the favorite over the last few years, the Patriots have found themselves playing from behind in most big games. That's not by design, according to head coach Bill Belichick, though he says the team is ready for any situation that they may find themselves in.
"Nobody wants to be behind 28-3 [in the Super Bowl]. Nobody wants to be behind 14-3," he said. "But look, every situation we've got to be prepared for, and we'll play through it no matter what."
That's led to what Brady calls a "great belief" in the team, something that helps his team out of tight spots. Still, he says, taking an early lead and keeping it are a focus for New England this season.
"We talk about this every week," he said. "Ultimately you've got to figure out how to win in the fourth quarter. We've got confidence we can go down the field and score to win the game."