You've probably seen the statistic that Bill Belichick's Patriots are 10-0 in the postseason against teams they did not face earlier in the season, yet they're 9-8 in rematches. It's presented as a point of concern for New England, and a point of hope for the Indianapolis Colts, who the Patriots dismantled 42-20 back in Week 11.
So, should Patriots fans be concerned about the outcome of the game? Let's breakdown these 17 rematches during the Belichick era.
|Tm||Year||Date||H/A||Opp||G#||PO Result||PF||PA||RS1 Result||PF||PA||RS2 Result||PF||PA|
The first regular season result was the most recent game between the two teams. The Patriots have faced the Jets twice in the post season, so the second regular season result on the far right is the first divisional game of the season.
It would seem that after a 5-0 start in playoff rematches, the Patriots have been 4-8 since 2005.
Looking at New England's eight rematch losses, the Patriots were 4-5 in the regular season against these teams. These loses consist of three away games, two Super Bowls, and three conference championships. Basically, these Patriots lost to good teams.
In reality, five of these eight rematches included a team that had already beaten the Patriots. The other three include the 2007 Giants, where it took a miracle for New York to win, the 2009 Ravens, where leading receiver Wes Welker was injured and out the prior week, and the 2013 Broncos, where the Patriots were fortunate enough to have enough players not on the injured reserve to form a roster.
It took injuries and a miracle for the Patriots to lose to teams they had defeated in the regular season, and the net point differential of those games is a mere 12 points; two of them were decided by 3 points. These weren't teams the Patriots defeated handily in the regular season.
The best comparisons for this rematch would have to be 2007 against the Chargers (regular season: 38-14, postseason 21-12), 2011 against the Broncos (RS: 41-23, PS: 45-10), and 2012 against the Texans (RS: 42-14, PS: 41-28).
While the Patriots have lost in the past to teams they have faced earlier in the season, these were generally against teams that had already defeated New England, or played to a close finish. This is not one of those games.