Patriots

How Patriots have fared in AFC Wild Card Round under Bill Belichick

Patriots

The New England Patriots will begin the 2021 NFL playoffs in a round that is not too familiar to them.

Since Bill Belichick took over as the team's head coach in 2000, the Patriots have reached the postseason 18 times (including this year). However, Saturday's matchup against the Bills in Buffalo will be just the fifth time New England has played on Wild Card Weekend. 

The Patriots have never reached the Super Bowl under Belichick in a year during which they've played on Wild Card Weekend. New England's upcoming game versus Buffalo also will be just the fourth road playoff game the team has played since 2007 (28 total games over that span).

Here's who won our Patriots vs. Bills AFC Wild Card playoff game simulation

Here's a look at how the Patriots have fared in the AFC Wild Card Round during Belichick's two decades running the team.

2005: Patriots 28, Jaguars 3

Venue: Gillette Stadium

The Patriots kicked off their quest for three consecutive Super Bowl titles against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who were making their first playoff appearance since losing the 1999 AFC Championship Game.

The Jaguars kept it close for a while and and trailed 7-3 at halftime, but the Patriots scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to cruise to another victory.

Some history was made on this night, too. The Patriots set a record with their 10th consecutive playoff win. Veteran linebacker Willie McGinest also set playoff records with 4.5 sacks in a game and 16 for a career.

Unfortunately for the Patriots, they lost to the Denver Broncos on the road in the AFC Divisional Round, ending their bid for three straight championships.

 

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2006: Patriots 37, Jets 16

Venue: Gillette Stadium

The Patriots sent their AFC East rival home for the offseason with a convincing victory in Foxboro. New England outscored New York 14-3 in the fourth quarter. The Patriots also dominated on the ground, rushing for 158 yards and a touchdown.

The win sent the Patriots to San Diego for a AFC Divisional Round game against the No. 1 seed Chargers, who earned a 14-2 record in the regular season with running back LaDainian Tomlinson winning MVP.

The Patriots upset the Chargers in dramatic fashion before blowing a 21-3 lead in a heartbreaking loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game.

2009: Ravens 33, Patriots 14

Venue: Gillette Stadium

The 2009 season was a tough one for the Patriots, and this game was rock bottom. It's the biggest playoff loss (19 points) the Patriots have suffered under Belichick. 

Ravens running back Ray Rice ran 83 yards for a touchdown on the first offensive play of the game. Baltimore jumped out to a 24-0 lead before New England finally scored in the second quarter.

The Ravens are the only team during the Belichick/Patriots era to win multiple playoff games at Gillette Stadium. They won this matchup and the 2012 AFC Championship Game. New England beat Baltimore in the 2011 AFC Championship Game and 2014 AFC Divisional Round.

It was a fierce and exciting rivalry.

2019: Titans 20, Patriots 13

Venue: Gillette Stadium

Tom Brady's final game as a Patriots player was not one to remember. The Patriots offense struggled mightily, gaining just 307 total yards and scoring only one touchdown. Brady completed 20 of 37 pass attempts for 209 yards with zero touchdowns and one interception.

Titans defensive back Logan Ryan, who was drafted by the Patriots and allowed to leave in free agency following the 2016 season, finished off New England with a pick-6 late in the fourth quarter.

Two months later, Brady left in free agency to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and close the book on one of the most remarkable careers in Boston sports history.