PLAYOFF WINNING STREAKThe Patriots have won an all-time NFL record 10 consecutive playoff games and have surpassed the previous record of nine, held by the 1960s Green Bay Packers teams coached by Vince Lombardi. The Patriots have not lost a playoff game since Jan. 3, 1999, when they dropped a 25-10 decision to the Jacksonville Jaguars, in a Wild Card Weekend game in Jacksonville. Since then, the Patriots have gone 10-0 in the playoffs and have won Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX.
SERIES HISTORYThe Patriots and Broncos will meet for the second time this season and for the second time in the teams' playoff history. The game is a rematch a Week Six clash, which the Broncos won 28-20 in Denver. Despite the limited playoff meetings between the teams, the nondivisional foes are quite familiar with each other, with this week's game serving as the 40th overall meeting between the clubs in a series that dates back to 1960. New England and Denver will meet the 11th time in the last 11 seasons, with Denver holding a 7-3 edge in the previous 10 games. The teams have split the last six meetings dating back to 1999. The history between the teams dates back to the first days of the American Football League in 1960. The Patriots played the Broncos in the inaugural game of each franchise, a 13-10 Denver win on Sept. 9, 1960 at B.U. Field. The teams squared off twice a year in the decade prior to the AFL-NFL merger, with the Patriots taking a 10-7 advantage out of those games.
SERIES BREAKDOWN*(Including Playoffs)
*Overall Record.....................15-24 (Including 0-1 in playoffs)
Record in New England .............7-8
Record in Denver...................8-16 (Including 0-1 in playoffs)
Total Points in the Series.........Denver 926, Patriots 794
Bill Belichick vs. Denver..........2-7 (2-3 with New England)
Mike Shanahan vs. New England......7-3
PASSING PERFORMANCESThe Patriots have compiled a 1-3 record against the Denver Broncos in games that Tom Brady has started. The Broncos are one of just four teams against which Brady has a losing record. The others are Washington (0-1), Green Bay (0-1) and San Diego (1-2). Brady owns a record of .500 or better against 27 of the 31 NFL teams.
PATRIOTS IN THE PLAYOFFSNew England has now qualified for the playoffs 14 times in its 46-year history. The Patriots have earned eight playoff berths in the 12 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 nine division 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.