The Patriots have clinched the No. 2 seed in the playoffs and they’re set to play their first postseason game on Sunday, Jan. 13 at 4:30 p.m. They’ll be facing Houston, Baltimore or Indianapolis in their first game, but who do you least want to see before the Super Bowl?
The Patriots have already faced off against Denver, Houston, Baltimore and Indianapolis. The only team they haven’t played — Cincinnati — is the team they’re least likely to face. If the Bengals beat Houston, they’d have to go through Denver as well before facing New England.
New England lost to Baltimore in Week 3, but that was at a far different time for both teams. The Ravens hadn’t lost Lardarius Webb yet and the Patriots hadn’t fixed their secondary. Ray Lewis and Haloti Ngata were still fully healthy and the Ravens were on much more of a roll. Now, the Ravens have lost four of their last five, including their Week 17 game against the Bengals.
The Patriots beat Denver, Houston and Indianapolis. Denver was by far the closest victory, but it was still by 10 points. Of course, like the game against the Ravens, both teams were in a much different place at the time. If anything, both the Patriots and Broncos have improved since Week 5. Peyton Manning has adapted well to playing in Denver and their defense has improved dramatically.
New England demolished both Houston and Indianapolis late in the season, but anything can happen in a rematch, and the Colts are an especially hot team late in the season. Since getting beat by the Patriots, the Colts have won five of their last six, including a 28-16 Week 17 win over the Texans.
So who’s the biggest threat in the AFC? Is it Denver with Manning and Von Miller? Or Houston with J.J. Watt and their tough defense? Or is it the Ravens who have already proven they can topple the Pats? Or are should the Patriots be scared of the young teams in Indianapolis and Cincinnati? Vote below.