Just win, baby.
In Week 15 New England went into the eager heart of Denver nation and got shocked for a whole fifteen minutes. And then things fell apart for the Broncos as the Patriots ripped a win out of them triggering a three-game losing streak. The Broncos won at home against a Pittsburgh Steelers team that lacked half of Big Ben's leg strength, their top Center/O-Lineman, their top RB, their highly-undrrated FS Ryan Clark, their best DE, and their best NT. That's not an insult to what they did, it's a reality. Now they're traveling to New England to face the rested Patriots, once again on the hot-streak but now traveling to Foxboro. Unlke in Week 15, the Pats will have two of their best run-defenders in MLB Brandon Spikes(Gator) and S Patrick Chung along with 2nd WR Deion Branch. It sounds like T Sebastian Vollmer might be back too. Yet for all of the reasons they ought to be favored for, Belichick has a stat and number for the Patriots players to think about;
Their horrible horrible, horible playoff record over the last few years.
All the Pats have to do is simple...
Come out ready and play until the end. 60 minutes of football has eluded this team all season. For the first three weeks, the story was about how ridiculous Tom Brady was in the 1st quarter against the Dolphins, Chargers, and Bills. Doesn't that seem like so long ago? Now the story has been their horribly slow starts and amazing comebacks. Is 60 minutes so much to ask for?
Pressure Tim Tebow. This is common sense really. However, in Tim Tebow's case, it's even more important. He relies mostly on the deep-ball and that takes time to develop, which means more time for defenders to try and get at the QB/RB. Defenders should be careful about giving him to much time to let a big play develop. If he has five seconds to pass, he can find someone deep for the big-play.
Be disciplined. Also common sense, but all the more important in Tim Tebow's case. The Patriots defense can't get greedy and disrespect Tebow's ability to get guys deep. At the same time, they can't disrespect his elusiveness. They underestimated how hard he is bring to bring down in Week 15 and paid a huge price for that, The Steelers got burnt by paying too much respect to Tebow's legs and not enough to his left arm.
Get help from someone other than Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker, and Aaron Hernandez. Those three weapons are elite. They all garner respect when outside the numbers, inside the numbers, or running like a RB with a funny number. Their lives are going to be to be as miserable as possible from the Denver defenders. Someone else needs to take the Broncos off-guard. Whether it be WRs Branch, Ochocinco, Underwood, the RB-by-committe, or heck even power-TE/T Nate Solder, Pats are going to want to use someone who didn't earn enormous respect from the Broncos D in Week 15. Ocho torched them for a TD(his only so far) in a game in which Branch didn't play. Outside of that, Welker, Gronk, and Hernandez were the primary culprits wreaking havoc up the field. They paid too much attention to Welker and Gronk(managing to limit them to 4 catches each) and forgot about Hernandez who had 9 catches. In this game, the Denver D will have more respect for Aaron Hernandez. And Denver does have a good D from coverage to pass-rush. Someone beyond the big three needs to have some impact.
Don't turn the ball over, steal possessions. 99% of the time that NE wins the turnover battle, NE wins the game.
Ultimately, there's no reason why the final score can't look like it did in Week 15 at Denver. Pats have them at home with important players rested and ready to finally win a playoff game.