NFL Playoffs 2012: Patriots, Not Tim Tebow, Have All the Pressure Tonight

Kason GreenContributor IJanuary 14, 2012

Brady's run for a fourth Super Bowl starts tonight.
Brady's run for a fourth Super Bowl starts tonight.Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Tonight's playoff game between the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos is abound with big headlines.

Can Tebow do it again? Will the Broncos get blown out again or will they find some way to get revenge for their loss several weeks ago?

Tim Tebow and his Cinderella-like run into the playoffs is unquestionably the biggest attention-grabber heading into the game tonight. However, one small item seemingly is being overlooked: Tom Brady.

Now you might be thinking, what possible storyline is there surrounding Tom Brady? The three-time Super Bowl champ has already cemented his place in the Hall of Fame, right? Absolutely. However, the Patriots haven't won a playoff game since their Super Bowl collapse against the Giants, and that was five years ago.

It's amazing to think about, but some people actually do forget what Tom Brady did at the start of the millennium, winning three out of four Lombardi Trophies and two Super Bowl MVPs. The Patriots have had some success in the playoffs since, but they still haven't been able to win the big game.

Now, in 2012, and his 12th season in the NFL, the NFL community is in dire need of a reminder from Tom Brady. A reminder that he has been one of the best quarterbacks of the decade, a reminder of the Patriots' dominance of the AFC East and a reminder that the coach-quarterback duo of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady is a lethal combination.

When the Patriots take the field tonight in front of their home fans, the AFC's No. 1 seed will have all the pressure. Nobody expects the 13.5 point favorites to lose to the .500 Broncos at home.

And that is exactly why it is dangerous.

If the Patriots win this game, the next will be equally if not more important. But it starts tonight. Playoff veteran wearing No. 12 versus playoff rookie wearing No. 15. Who will deal with the pressure better?