FOXBOROUGH --- Of the four quarterbacks left in the NFL playoffs, only the Patriots' Tom Brady has experienced going all the way to the Super Bowl and hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy, doing so in the first three of his five overall trips.
Now that Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers and Denver's Peyton Manning have been eliminated from the playoffs, Brady ranks as the only quarterback left with any Super Bowl experience.
"Well, I like to be playing at this time of the year,'' Brady said Friday, in his last press conference before Sunday night's AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium. "There's nothing more exciting than this.''
This will mark Brady's seventh overall appearance in the AFC Championship, in which he's compiled a 5-1 record with the lone setback coming at Indianapolis in 2007. However, Brady is undefeated in the four AFC title games the Patriots have hosted at Gillette Stadium.
"Certainly, I've had experience in these games, but it only really matters when you go out and play well,'' Brady said. "Because there was a time when I was inexperienced and we did pretty well, so I think it's more a matter of our execution and how we play as opposed to anything that's been accomplished in the past.
"To be at this point, with four teams left, you need to have a pretty good football team in all three phases,'' Brady said. "Certainly I feel like we have one of those teams and we've played the 49ers and we've played the Ravens [during the regular season] and they certainly have those teams. We haven't played Atlanta, but they have one of those teams because I've seen them on TV a bunch of times.
"So you need to have a really strong team in all phases and the four teams playing now are all qualified.''