If the New England Patriots are looking for bulletin board material heading into their AFC Championship matchup with the Denver Broncos, they need look no further. Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall is more than happy to oblige. Marshall says after what he saw from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in their last meeting, he’s ok with calling Brady “a crybaby” and having that statement end up on the locker room wall.
Marshall spoke with Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro of Mile High Sports AM 1340 following the Broncos’ AFC Divisional Playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers and said unequivocally that the whining Brady did to the referees in the last meeting between the Broncos and Patriots is enough to qualify him for the mantle of “crybaby.”
When asked point blank if he’d call Brady a “crybaby,” Marshall offered an emphatic, “Yes. Yes, I absolutely will.”
Marshall knows there will be plenty of talk from both sides, plenty of chirping, and plenty of whining coming from the Patriots signal caller.
“Oh yeah there’s going to be a lot of chirping,” he told Goodman and Shapiro “He whines to the refs a whole lot. I can’t believe the refs let him talk to them like that. But I guess that’s Tom Brady.”
With the magnitude of this game, Marshall knows comments like that could end up on the bulletin board. He’s ok with that.
“That’s fine,” he said. “From what I heard – how he talked to the refs in our first game – that’s exactly what I think he was doing. He was crying.”
The Patriots may not need any extra motivation, though. They’re out to prove that the Week 12 overtime loss to the Broncos was a fluke – one that wouldn’t have happened if they had two of their primary targets for Brady, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, playing. Marshall knows it’s going to be a battle with the Patriots.
“It’s going to be a hell of a game. It’s going to be tough,” he said.
That’s one way to describe their last game, which saw Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski leave the game in the fourth quarter, as did Broncos safety T.J. Ward and defensive tackle Sylvester Williams in the first quarter. Williams played only eight snaps that game, Ward played only 10. Denver escaped with a six-point overtime victory.
Winning tight games is nothing new for this Broncos team. Fourteen of their games have been decided by a touchdown or less. Eleven of their 13 wins are by a touchdown or less.
“We’ve had no easy games this year whatsoever, so we’re used it it,” Marshall said. “We just keep fighting and that’s all we do. That’s all we know how to do. We just keep fighting and we find a way to get the job done.”
As for how those close games have helped the team, mentally. Marshall says it’s been a huge difference-maker.
“It helped tremendously, honestly. Every game was tight. We knew that every game was going to come down to the wire … we never do give up hope.”
Marshall and the Broncos’ league-leading defense are hoping that they’ve got two more of those gritty wins in their bag of tricks. One more win puts them in the Super Bowl, something Marshall and his teammates are trying not to focus on.
“You definitely think about that,” he said, “but at the same time you know you have to get through the Patriots first. You can’t think too much about the Super Bowl and if we get there. We have to win this game.”
In order to win on Sunday, some experts are saying they’ll need a better effort than they put forth against the Steelers, who posted a season-high 396 yards against the league’s top defense. Shapiro even said that the defense appeared to come out a little flat. Marshall disagreed.
“I don’t know you could say we came out flat. They had a couple big plays. It’s not like they [were] killing us. We held them to 16 points, which is our goal every week. So at the end, in the grand scheme of things we did well.”
If the Denver defense can hold Tom Brady and the Patriots to just 16 points, there’s a good chance the Broncos will be moving on and going for that one final win. Denver is 7-1 this year when holding opponents to 16 points or less. New England, by contrast, has only been held below that number once – in the season finale against Miami. A similar performance would no doubt give Brady something to really cry about.
Listen to the full interview with Brandon Marshall in the podcast below…