FOXBOROUGH -- The Patriots have not played a road playoff game since 2007, making Sunday's AFC Championship against the Denver Broncos an even more intriguing contest for a team that has struggled outside of Gillette Stadium.
Under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, the Patriots are 3-2 in the postseason when playing on the road. The last time they did so, seven years ago, they lost in the AFC Championship to the Indianapolis Colts, 38-34.
That was also the last time Brady and Peyton Manning faced each other in the AFC title game.
While Manning has lost his last three matchups with the Patriots, including both with the Broncos, and is 1-2 against New England in the postseason, Denver is 6-2 in AFC Championship games and 2-0 when facing the Patriots at home in the postseason. The Broncos are 14-4 all-time at home in the postseason.
This is all quite pertinent when considering the Patriots went 4-4 on the road this season, losing close games to the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets, Carolina Panthers, and Miami Dolphins. At one point, the Patriots were 2-3 on the road before climbing back to .500.
With all this in mind, Belichick does not see the atmosphere at Sports Authority Field as any kind of advantage.
"We play eight games on the road every year," Belichick said. "I think if we play well, we’ll have a good chance to win. If we don’t play well, I don’t think we’ll have a good chance to win. But I think it’s like that every Sunday home or away."
Sounds like a 50-50 chance. It just so happens that the Patriots are 7-2 in AFC Championships. But as for AFC Championships on the road, Belichick is just a tad better than .500 at 2-1.