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Patriots finish 12-4 and earn second seed in AFC Playoff field

Posted Jan 2, 2013

With the New England Patriots' 28-0 victory over Miami (12/30) in the season finale, a Houston loss and a Denver victory, the Patriots earned the number two seed in the AFC playoff field.

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PATRIOTS EARN NUMBER TWO SEED IN AFC PLAYOFF FIELD
With the New England Patriots' 28-0 victory over Miami (12/30) in the season finale, a Houston loss and a Denver victory, the Patriots earned the number two seed in the AFC playoff field. The Patriots have advanced to the Super Bowl in three of the four seasons (1978, 1996, 2001 and 2004) that they have earned the two seed, winning in two (2001 and 2004) of their three appearances.

PATRIOTS CLINCH PLAYOFF SPOT FOR 14TH TIME IN KRAFT'S 19 YEARS OF OWNERSHIP
New England has now qualified for the playoffs 20 times in its 53- year history. The Patriots have earned 14 of those playoff berths in the 19 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. New England has won 12 AFC East crowns under Kraft's leadership. New England has won 15 division crowns overall (14 AFC East Crowns) and has qualified as a Wild Card team on four occasions (1998, 1994, 1985 and 1976). The Patriots also qualified for the playoffs in 1982 as part of a 16-team tournament following a players' strike.

2012 AFC EAST CHAMPIONS
The Patriots claimed the AFC East Division title for the fourth consecutive season and for the 12th time under Robert Kraft.

DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIPS SINCE 1994
New England Patriots ................. 12
Pittsburgh Steelers ......................... 10
Green Bay Packers............................ 9
Indianapolis Colts ............................. 8

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN THE POSTSEASON

BILL BELICHICK

Bill Belichick (17) needs one more postseason victory to move ahead of Joe Gibbs for sole possession of third place all-time in postseason wins. Tom Landry (20) is in first place followed by Don Shula (19).

TOM BRADY

Tom Brady (16) needs one more postseason victory to break a tie with Joe Montana (16) for most playoff wins by a starting quarterback in NFL history.

Brady has played in 22 playoff games with the Patriots and needs to play in one more playoff game to break a tie with Tedy Bruschi for most playoff games by a Patriots player.

Brady (39) needs seven more postseason touchdowns to move past Joe Montana (45) and Brett Favre (44) for the all-time lead.

Brady (5,285) needs 571 postseason yards to set the all-time NFL record for most postseason yards. Brett Favre (5,855), Joe Montana (5,772) and Peyton Manning (5,389) are currently ahead of Brady.

Brady (499) can add to his NFL record of postseason completions.

DEION BRANCH

Deion Branch (54) needs five receptions in the postseason to pass Troy Brown (58) for the most career playoff receptions in franchise history.

Branch (836) can add to his team record for most receiving yards in the postseason.

WES WELKER

Welker has had at least six catches in each of his seven postseason games with the Patriots.

Welker (53) needs six postseason receptions to pass Troy Brown (58) for the most career playoff receptions in franchise history.

Welker (438) needs 257 postseason receiving yards to move past Troy Brown (694) into second place all-time behind Deion Branch (836).

PATRIOTS IN THE PLAYOFFS
New England has qualified for the playoffs 20 times in its 53- year history. Fourteen of those playoff berths have come in the 19 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994, a dramatic contrast to the six total playoff berths that the team earned in its first 34 years of existence. New England has won 15 division crowns, including 10 in the last 12 seasons, and has qualified as a Wild Card team on four occasions (1976, 1985, 1994, and 1998). The Patriots also qualified for the playoffs in 1982 as part of a 16-team tournament following a players' strike.

PATRIOTS TIED FOR MOST PLAYOFF WINS IN A DECADE
The Patriots won 14 playoff games in the decade from 2000-09, tying the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys for the most playoff victories by any NFL team in either the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s or 2000s. Pittsburgh and Dallas both won 14 playoff contests between 1970 and 1979, while New England won 14 postseason games from 2000- 09.

PATRIOTS IN THE DIVISIONAL ROUND AND CONFERENCE TITLE GAME
The Patriots have compiled a 9-6 all-time record in divisional playoff games, including 6-2 at home and 4-1 at Gillette Stadium. They are 7-1 in the conference title game, including a 4-0 record at home and a 3-0 mark at Gillette Stadium.

PATRIOTS AT HOME IN THE PLAYOFFS
The Patriots are 13-3 at home in the playoffs in their history. Fifteen of the franchise's 16 home playoff games have taken place since Robert Kraft purchased the team 19 years ago. After Kraft bought the team, the Patriots won 11 consecutive home playoff games before experiencing a home loss.

TITLE TOWN
The Patriots won the AFC East seven times during the decade of 2000-09. The Patriots had a streak of five straight division titles snapped in 2008 when they finished 11-5, but lost to Miami on a tie breaker to finish in second place. New England's five straight AFC East crowns from 2003-07 is the longest streak in division history and their current streak of four titles (2009-12) ties the four straight division titles by the Buffalo Bills from 1988-91 and by the Miami Dolphins on two occasions. The Patriots have won nine of the last 10 division crowns. The Patriots have won 12 division titles in the 19 seasons since Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994.

WRAPPING IT UP
The Patriots clinched the division with a 23-16 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 2, 2012.
SUSTAINED PLAYOFF SUCCESS
The Patriots won 11 playoff games from 2003-07, tying the NFL's highest playoff victory total over a five-season span. New England won three playoff games in 2003, three in 2004, one in 2005, two in 2006 and two in 2007.

ALL-TIME PLAYOFF RESULTS
The Patriots have compiled a 23-16 record in their 39 playoff games and their .589 playoff winning percentage is the third best in NFL history among teams that have played at least 10 playoff games. New England has qualified for seven Super Bowls (XX, XXXI, XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLII and XLVI) and one AFL Championship Game in 1963.

PATRIOTS PLAYOFF RECORD BY ROUND
First Round* ............................... 0-1
Wild Card Round ......................... 4-3
Divisional Round .......................... 9-6
AFC Championship ....................... 7-1
AFL Championship ....................... 0-1
Super Bowl ................................. 3-4
Total .................................. 23-16
*-1982 Strike Season

PATRIOTS PLAYOFF TRENDS
(since the 1970 merger)
Patriots Playoff Trends (Since NFL Merger in 1970)
All Time (22-15) vs. AFC ............................... 19-11
vs. NFC ......................................................... 3-4
Home ............................................................ 13-3
Away ............................................................. 6-8
Leading at Halftime ........................................ 17-3
Trailing at Halftime ........................................ 3-10
Tied at Halftime ............................................. 2-2
Leading After 3 Quarters ................................ 17-4
Tied After 3 Quarters ..................................... 2-0
Trailing After 3 Quarters ................................. 3-11
Decided by 7 Points or Less ............................ 9-8
Decided By 3 Points or Less ............................ 7-3
When Scoring First ......................................... 17-6
When Not Scoring First ................................... 5-9
Positive Turnover Ratio .................................. 15-1
Even Turnover Ratio ...................................... 3-3
Negative Turnover Ratio ................................. 3-12
Winning or Even Penalty Ratio ........................ 17-1
Losing Penalty Ratio ....................................... 5-14
With a 100-Yard Rusher ................................. 7-0
Without a 100-Yard Rusher............................. 15-15
With a 100-Yard Receiver ............................... 9-4
Without a 100-Yard Receiver .......................... 13-11
When Allowing a 100-Yard Rusher .................. 2-5
When Not Allowing a 100-Yard Rusher ............ 20-10
When Allowing a 100-Yard Receiver ................ 5-7
When Not Allowing a 100-Yard Receiver .......... 17-8
With a 300-Yard Passer .................................. 3-1
Without a 300-Yard Passer ............................. 19-14
Allowing a 300-Yard (net) Passer .................... 4-1
Not Allowing a 300-Yard (net) Passer .............. 18-14

ANNUAL ACHIEVEMENTS
The Patriots have won more than half of their games for the 12th straight year with a 12-4 record in 2012. They are the first team to win more than half of their games in 12 straight seasons since free agency began in 1993.

The Patriots are the fourth team to win more than half of their games in 12 straight seasons since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, joining the 49ers (16 straight from 1983-1998), the Cowboys (16 straight from 1970-85) and the Raiders (11 straight from 1970-80).

The Patriots have now won nine or more games in 16 of the 19 seasons Robert Kraft has owned the team.

PATRIOTS HAVE THE MOST 9 WIN SEASONS SINCE 2001
The Patriots are the only team in the NFL to have recorded nine or more wins in each of the last 12 seasons.

MOST SEASONS OF 9 WINS SINCE 2001
New England .................. 12
Indianapolis ...................... 10
Baltimore............................ 9
Green Bay .......................... 9
Pittsburgh ........................... 9
Philadelphia ........................ 8

PATRIOTS WIN 10 FOR THE TENTH STRAIGHT YEAR
New England has reached at least 10 regular-season wins for the tenth consecutive season. San Francisco (16) is the only other team to accomplish the feat.

PATRIOTS EARN ANOTHER FIRST ROUND BYE
The Patriots have secured a first round playoff bye for the sixth time since 2001—a quantity unmatched by any team in the NFL in the last 12 years. During that time, the Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers have locked up a bye four times and the Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles have been given a pass three times.

MOST SEASONS EARNING A BYE SINCE 2001
New England .................... 6
Chicago .............................. 4
Pittsburgh ........................... 4
Indianapolis ........................ 3
Philadelphia ........................ 3

BRADY MOVES UP THE POSTSEASON LISTS
Tom Brady's six touchdown passes vs. Denver (01/14/12) raised his career playoff total to 38 touchdown passes, moving him into third on the NFL's all-time playoff touchdown pass list. Brady ranks fourth on the NFL's all-time postseason passing yardage list with 5,285 career passing yards after moving past Dan Marino and John Elway in the 2011 postseason.

BELICHICK IN THE POSTSEASON
Bill Belichick's 17 playoff wins are tied for the third-most wins by a head coach in NFL history. Belichick is currently tied with Joe Gibbs (17) and sits behind Tom Landry (20) and Don Shula (19). Belichick and Gibbs (17-7, .708) are also tied for the fourth-best postseason record by a head coach in NFL history. Belichick trails Vince Lombardi (9-1, .900), Tom Flores (8-3, .727) and Bill Walsh (10-4,.714).

KRAFT'S SIX CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS ARE THE MOST OF ANY NFL OWNER IN SUPER BOWL ERA
The 2011 AFC Championship was the sixth conference championship for Robert Kraft as Patriots owner. Kraft is the first NFL owner to bring his team to six Super Bowls and his six conference championships are the most of any NFL owner in the Super Bowl Era (since 1966). Seven NFL owners brought their teams to five Super Bowls, but Kraft is the first NFL owner to lead his team to six Super Bowl appearances.

SUPER COMBINATION
New England head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady won their fifth conference championship together, becoming the first head coach and quarterback tandem to win five conference titles in the Super Bowl Era (since 1966). Three other coach/quarterback duos have qualified for four Super Bowls – Dallas' Tom Landry and Roger Staubach; Buffalo's Marv Levy and Jim Kelly; and Pittsburgh's Chuck Noll and Terry Bradshaw.

BELICHICK'S FIVE CONFERENCE TITLES TIED FOR SECOND MOST OF ANY HEAD COACH IN SUPER BOWL ERA
The 2011 AFC Championship was Bill Belichick's fifth conference championship as a head coach. Belichick's five conference titles are tied with Tom Landry's total for the second most in NFL history during the Super Bowl Era (since 1966). The only head coach to bring his team to the Super Bowl more times than Belichick is Don Shula (6).

BRADY'S FIVE CONFERENCE TITLES TIED FOR MOST OF ANY STARTING QUARTERBACK IN SUPER BOWL ERA
The 2011 AFC Championship was Tom Brady's fifth conference title as a starting quarterback, tying John Elway for the most conference titles in NFL history during the Super Bowl Era (since 1966). Brady has started 14 or more games in 10 different NFL seasons (2001-07, 09-11), and has helped to lead his team to AFC Championships in five of those 10 seasons.