The New England Patriots have wrapped up the 2019 regular season with a 12-4 record, finishing with as the third seed in the AFC ahead of the upcoming postseason. That comes on the heels of a shocking and frustrating 27-24 loss to the 5-11 Miami Dolphins.
The finish means the Patriots will play in the Wild Card round for the first time since 2009 against the Baltimore Ravens. As the third seed, New England will still host a playoff game but await their opponent pending the result of games for Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and Oakland.
It could have been a monumental feat for the Patriots, extending their own NFL record of 10 straight seasons with a first-round playoff bye.
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The Patriots Host Wild Card Round
The Patriots will face the sixth-seeded Tennessee Titans in their playoff opener, with the game being played at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, January 4 at 8:15 p.m.
With the Patriots falling to the third seed in the AFC with a shocking loss to the Miami Dolphins, the Patriots will be playing on Wild Card weekend for the first time in a decade. The Patriots had to await their foe with three potential teams playing in the 4:25 p.m. timeslot all vying for the sixth-seed — Tennessee, Pittsburgh, and Oakland.
The Tennessee Titans controlled their own destiny in regards to that final spot and beat Houston on the road in order to seal their trip to the postseason — a first under Mike Vrabel. The Patriots lost to Vrabel’s Titans, 34-10, last season and may struggle to contain Derrick Henry in a postseason battle. Henry earned the league’s rushing title this season with the Titans win Sunday.
The Patriots and Titans have met twice in the past 20 years during the postseason. The first came in 2003 and then most recently in 2017, both in the Divisional Round.
That first meeting saw the Patriots set a record for the coldest home game at Gillette Stadium and in franchise history with a 4-degree temperature at kickoff. In a defensive battle, the Patriots prevailed 17-14 thanks to a late Adam Vinatieri field goal and defensive stand against co-MVP Steve McNair.
In the most recent meeting, the Patriots dismantled the Titans, 35-7, in a big game for Brady and the Patriots offense. New England pulled away midway through that one, shutting down Marcus Mariota and the high-paced Titans offense.
When Will New England Play Next?
As the three-seed, the Patriots will be playing on Saturday in the early evening timeslot against the sixth-seed. It’s the same schedule as last year when the third-seeded Texans lost to Indianapolis.
The Patriots have not played on Wild Card weekend since 2009 when they were on the wrong end of a 33-14 defeat to the sixth-seeded Baltimore Ravens. Before that, New England advanced to the AFC Championship as the fourth-seed, dropping a heartbreaker to the Indianapolis Colts, 38-34, following a Divisional Round upset over top-seeded San Diego on the road, 24-21.
In 1985, the Patriots advanced to the Super Bowl following three straight road wins as the fifth-seed in the AFC by dispatching the top-seeded LA Raiders, 27-20, and destroying the Orange Bowl jinx in Miami, 31-14. In the end, the Chicago Bears delivered a crushing 46-10 defeat in Super Bowl XX.