Two things have been essential to the New England Patriots being the best National Football League team over the last two decades - a bye week and home-field advantage.
The other divisional playoff game might be the most intriguing of all, as the Kansas City Chiefs host the Indianapolis Colts in an AFC game on Saturday.
- Andrew Luck, Colts, threw two touchdown passes and finished 19 of 32 for 222 yards with an interception in Indianapolis' 21-7 victory at Houston.
In the quarter-finals, the Cowboys are fighting next weekend against either the New Orleans Saints or the Los Angeles Rams in the first Playoff semi-final since 1995. Punter Michael Dickson's drop kick was caught by Cole Beasley at the Dallas 31, sealing the first playoff win for the Cowboys since beating Detroit in the wild-card round in the 2014 season. The most spectacular scene of the game here was ultimately the decisive one. He had several drop-kicks during the season, as recently as Week 16 when Janikowski left with an injury but returned to the game.
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That will give me more of a reference for where we are against the top boys. Get Lukaku a start, get Sanchez a start. "You know the quality he has".
The Patriots, though, had one of the league's better run games this season with first-round pick and rookie running back Sony Michel, who had 931 yards and would have cleared 1,000 easily had he not missed three games with a sprained knee.
No team has repeated as Super Bowl champion since New England in 2004, and the Eagles are a sixth seed. The Pats will have a tough task at hand Sunday, as the Chargers should give them a game.
A daunting matchup, for sure, but Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers embraces the opportunity to renew acquaintances with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.
The Chargers have 38 sacks on the season, as their defensive front is led by Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. It will be interesting to see if it challenges below 45 points or whether it will meet resistance at the current mark to potentially work its way back higher. New England has covered in six of its previous eight home games and was favored by at least 5.5 points in all of them.
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