10 random thoughts and statistical tidbits leading up to the game on Saturday night:
1) Arguably Tim Tebow, often cited as the worst passer in the NFL playoffs, had the greatest passing performance ever given it was a debut start in the playoffs:
a) First time a passer has completed 3 passes of more than 50 yards in a playoff game
b) Highest yards/completion percentage ever in the NFL playoffs: 316 yrds/10 comp = 31.6.
c) Joins Joe Montana and Aaron Rodgers of only QB's in playoffs who have thrown in a single playoff game 300+ yards, 0 interceptions and run for one touchdown. Montana and Rodgers did not do it in their first playoff game.
d) Threw the pass the resulted in the longest TD pass (80 yards) in playoff overtime history to finish a game.
And this was done against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the #1 passing defense in the regular season.
2) Saturday's game will be the tenth anniversary of the "tuck rule game" in NE.
3) The Denver Broncos are the first team since the Green Bay Packer in 2004 to make the playoffs after starting 1-4.
4) A 8-8 playoff team has never gone beyond the wild card round of the playoffs (lost in divisional round)
5) As you all know all the home teams in the divisional round have had a bye and you would think would have a decided advantage on the visitor who has played the week before.
Since 1990 when the current playoff format was instituted all home teams won in the divisional round in 1990, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2002 but the last year this was done was 2004.
But since 1990 in only 2006 and this year's playoffs have all home teams won in the wild card round. NEVER since 1990 has there been a season where all 4 home teams in the divisional round won as well. In other words expect one or two visiting teams to win this coming weekend.
6) No home team has ever lost 3 divisional games in row in 3 consecutive years. If the Pats lose to the Broncos, they will hold that distinction. No other team has even gone two consecutive years but the Pats.
7) Like the regular season Tom Brady has never lost in any playoff game at home where the Pats were leading at the half or af the end of the third quarter.
Brady's post-season performance in 2005 has definitely not been as good as his regular season numbers.
9) Tom Brady has never beaten the Denver Broncos at home in the regular season (0-2). In 2008 Matt Cassell did beat the Broncos at home 41-7.
10) The Patriots turnover ratio: +17 Broncos: -12 Difference 29
Based on this fact alone the Pats should trounce the Broncos.