Tom Brady gets no respect

I don't know Brady, but, from a distance, his on-field versus off-field personas are as jarring as any QB's since Roger Staubach -- whom I did know when he played for the Cowboys. In interviews, Staubach was the nicest, kindest do-unto-others father and husband -- but in fourth quarters, he went to some crazy place that scared (and inspired) teammates. Staubach could play an uninspired, out-of-sync first three quarters, then flip that psycho-killer switch. He didn't get nervous as the pressure mounted. He got mad.

The miracles that man made remain, foremost the Hail Mary in Minnesota from which longtime Vikings fans have never quite recovered.

In interviews, Brady comes across as far more gee-whiz, aw-shucks than Staubach did -- more of a super-nice, overly polite, somewhat naive Richie Cunningham compared with Staubach's more genuine Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life." Brady's interview persona seems a bit forced, almost as a way to deflect and defuse tough questions.

But after Sunday's loss, Brady couldn't switch off the crazed competitor before taking the interview stand. He uttered two sentences, the second referring to poor Patriot plays with a word he knew wasn't suitable for the airwaves, then left. That's surely closer to the real Brady.

The great Christian Bale could capture Brady on film -- the Bale who played Patrick Bateman in "American Psycho." Nice guy by day, psycho killer by night. That's Brady, in a football context. If you're rooting for the Patriots, you know you have a chance when Brady celebrates a fourth-quarter TD pass by running to the end zone and screaming his approval in the face of the receiver who caught it.

No NFL QB lets his emotions spill over more than Brady, on the field or sideline. And no QB more successfully channels his rage to win.

• Down 21-20 with 4:31 left in the opener at Buffalo, Brady went 7-for-7, setting up the winning field goal with five seconds left.

• Down four at home against New Orleans, 70 yards away with 1:13 left, here came Brady -- zing-zing-zing. The winner was delivered to Thompkins with 15 seconds left.

• Down 17-7 at halftime in Houston, Brady threw for 263 the second half, leaving defensive end Antonio Smith wondering out loud whether the Pats had somehow spied on the Texans. Pats 34-31.

• Down 24-0 at the half at home to Peyton & Co., Brady threw for 263 in the second half and overtime. Pats 34-31.

• Down 26-14 at home to Cleveland, Brady produced two TDs in the final 61 seconds. Pats 27-26 as Brady threw for 323 second-half yards, most by any QB in a second half this season.

In four comeback wins this season, the Pats were outscored 64-10 in the first half -- a true picture of how bad they should be. But in those four second halves, Brady & Co. outscored opponents 112-41.

Brady: a beast in Uggs.

Now it's on to Baltimore to face the Ravens, who long have tormented Brady's Patriots. The 2009 playoff humiliation in Foxborough -- Ravens 33-14 … the AFC title game the Ravens should've won two years ago at New England … the one they did win there last year, when they also beat the Patriots in Baltimore in the regular season (31-30 on a last-second Justin Tucker field goal called good by a replacement ref when it sure looked wide right).

The Ravens' Terrell Suggs is a proud Brady-hater, saying he doesn't like Brady's smug attitude, his hair or "the way everybody just seems to worship the guy."

The Ravens have won four straight. The decimated Patriots should have little chance. But they still have Michael Jordan Brady.

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