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Patriots to open playoffs Jan. 10

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Though the "who" won't be decided until this coming weekend, the what, when and where of the Patriots playoff opener has been established.

New England will come out of this weekend's bye and open a potential march toward Super Bowl XLIX with a Divisional Round battle at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, Jan. 10 at 4:35 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on NBC.

The opponent for that AFC playoff game will be the lowest remaining seed after Wildcard Weekend action, meaning New England could face the Colts, Bengals or Ravens.

The No. 6 seed Ravens will travel to Pittsburgh to take on No. 3 seed Steelers for a wild card matchup. If Baltimore wins that AFC North war, they would travel to Foxborough for the Divisional Round. Otherwise New England will face the winner of the battle between the No. 5 seed Bengals and No. 4 seed Colts that takes place in Indy.

New England blew out both the Colts (42-20, in Indy) and the Bengals (43-17, at home) during the regular season. The Patriots also have a long history of playoff battles with the Ravens, including the teams splitting a pair of AFC title contests following the 2011 and 2012 regular seasons. The two consistent AFC contenders have actually faced off three times in the postseason at Gillette Stadium since 2010, with the Ravens winning two of those contests

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