NFL New England Patriots

5 Reasons Why You Don’t Want to Face New England Patriots in Playoffs

1 of 6

Why You Don't Want to Play the Patriots in the Playoffs

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

This coming Saturday night, the New England Patriots begin their playoff run when they welcome the Indianapolis Colts to Foxboro for the AFC Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.

It’s no surprise that the Patriots are in the playoffs. Despite having a team of mostly no-name players, Tom Brady led them to a 12-4 record and an AFC East Division Championship. They won seven of their last nine games, including a memorable 34-31 come-from-behind overtime-win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday night football.

This year, their road to the Super Bowl begins in their own house against the Colts. The matchup is a bit different this year, as it doesn’t feature a Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady matchup. However, the challenge is still there as Andrew Luck has proven that he’s worthy of greatness in the playoffs, much like the man he replaced in Indianapolis.

In the Tom Brady era, New England has gone to the Super Bowl five times and won three between 2001 and 2004. Their two losses both came to the New York Giants, including the instant classic in 2007 when the Giants spoiled the Patriots' undefeated season. You’ve got to believe they stand a good chance of making another run this year.

On the following slides, you’ll find five reasons why you don’t want to go head-to-head with the New England Patriots in the playoffs. While they may not have the best players on the team, they are still a squad that shouldn’t be taken lightly for reasons that extend beyond the playing field.

Brian Skinnell is a freelance sports writer for and contributor at Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter and add him to your network on Google.

2 of 6

1. Home Field Advantage

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the Patriots are good in the playoffs, but they are nearly unstoppable when they’ve got the support of the hometown crowd.

All-time, New England is 14-3 in home playoff games and are 11-3 in the Tom Brady era. Make no mistake about it, the playoff atmosphere in Foxboro is electric and certainly provides a boost to the team.

3 of 6

2. A Defense That Does Just Enough

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The defense hasn’t been spectacular this season, but there are two things that they do well: make adjustments and take away the No. 1 receiver.

Against the Cincinnati Bengals, they held AJ Green to just 61 yards on five receptions. When they played the New Orleans Saints, running back Darren Sproles led the team in receptions with six and Jimmy Garaham was held without a reception. After struggling in the first half and being down 24-0 at halftime to the Broncos, the defense came strong and helped propel them to the win, all the while holding Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker to a combined 46 yards on five receptions.

They may not be the best defense, but they have been able to step up for the Patriots when they need them to.

4 of 6

3. Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The two-headed rushing attack of Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount has been steady and solid all season long. Ridley has carried the rock 178 times for 773 yards, while Blount rushed 153 times for 772 yards, and both scored seven touchdowns. Collectively, they have picked up 74 first downs on the ground.

5 of 6

4. Bill Belichick

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Is there a better coach in the NFL today, especially in the playoffs? The dynasty that Bill Belichick has put together in Foxboro is a lean mean winning machine. His preparation trumps that of any player or coach and he only becomes more prepared in the playoffs.

All time, he’s 18-8 in the playoffs and has taken the Patriots to the AFC Championship Game at least seven times, including five Super Bowl berths and three victories in the big game.

6 of 6

5. Tom Brady

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Is there a more-clutch quarterback in the playoffs in the NFL than Tom Brady? Since his career began, Brady is 17-7 in the playoffs and has a passer rating of 87.4. With the team that New England has given him this year, he’s done a pretty remarkable job leading them to a 12-4 record. As long as Brady is under center for New England, it stands a pretty good chance of winning.