A look at the Patriots' past playoff runs
BOSTON (WHDH) -- The NFL playoffs start this weekend, but the Patriots won't be playing.
Instead, they earned the wild card weekend off and they're hoping they can turn that bye into another championship.
If you ask the Pats, they say the week off isn't that big of a deal.
We know having a first round bye is a good thing in terms of resting players, but history shows it's almost a necessity for the Patriots to win a Lombardi trophy.
In the Belichick era, the Pats have played in the wild card round three times -- all three times they failed to reach the Super Bowl.
Ironically, they managed to lose in a different round each time. Their last wild card appearance ended quickly -- literally and figuratively.
Baltimore's Ray Rice took the opening play (in the opening round) *83 yards* back in 2010, as the pats lost to the ravens, 33-14 on wild card weekend
The Patriots advanced past the wild card round back in 2006, but the ride ended in Denver in the divisional round.
Tom Brady suffered his first-ever playoff loss, as the Pats gave up five turnovers and got bounced by the Broncos, 27-13
The other time they played in a wild card round, they advanced all the way to the AFC Championship game, only to lose to the Colts in January of 2007 -- part of Peyton Manning's run to his only Super Bowl title.
Tom Brady appreciates how important that first-round bye really is.
“We'll be watching this weekend and you're still on high alert for football and situation awareness and watching the games and so forth -- your mind is still very much in the game," Brady said.
The Pats’ playoff record when they have a first-round bye is 13-3, including five Super Bowl appearances.