FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots will host a divisional-round playoff game (Saturday, Jan. 13 at 8:15 p.m. ET) for the eighth straight season, which is the most in NFL history. The prior record was set by the Miami Dolphins with five straight (1981-1985).
Here are 10 things to watch for with the Patriots in the playoffs:
1. When the Patriots host a divisional playoff game, Bill Belichick will set an NFL record for a head coach by coaching in his 37th playoff game, passing Tom Landry and Don Shula for most playoff games by a head coach in NFL history.
2. Belichick will coach in his 15th divisional playoff game next weekend, passing Shula for most in NFL history.
3. Tom Brady will play in his 14th divisional playoff game, passing Jerry Rice for most divisional-round appearances in NFL history.
4. The franchise has totaled 32 postseason wins, which is fourth most in NFL history. The Steelers have the most (36), followed by the Cowboys (34) and Packers (34). So they have a chance to move into second place if they win the Super Bowl.
5. The Patriots are tied with the Cowboys (1991-1996) for the most consecutive seasons with at least one playoff win (2011-2016, with 11 total wins). If they win in the divisional round, they will set the NFL record.
6. If the Patriots advance to the AFC Championship Game, it will mark their 14th appearance in the game. That would tie Dallas for the third most in NFL history, behind the Steelers (16) and 49ers (15).
7. If the Patriots advance to the AFC Championship Game, it will mark their seventh straight appearance in the game. That would extend their own record, further distancing them from the Raiders, who appeared in five straight conference championship games from 1973 to 1977.
8. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski currently sits in fourth place in playoff field goals with 31, behind Adam Vinatieri (56), David Akers (39) and Gary Anderson (32). He potentially could move into second place. Gostkowski also enters the postseason with 160 playoff points in his career, third-most behind Adam Vinatieri (234) and David Akers (175).
9. Rob Gronkowski’s three career 100-yard receiving games in the playoffs are tied for third all-time for a tight end behind Vernon Davis (4) and Keith Jackson (4). Gronkowski’s 52 career playoff receptions are fifth all-time by a tight end, behind Dallas Clark (64), Jay Novacek (62), Shannon Sharpe (62) and Brent Jones (60), meaning he could ultimately hold the top spot by the end of the playoffs.
10. With a win, the Patriots will earn their 15th divisional playoff game victory, tying San Francisco (15) for second place behind Pittsburgh (16).