A lot has been made of the stats that despite their gaudy record (13-3), the Pats have only one win against playoff teams, and are 1-2 against playoff teams, this year. This info disheartens Pats fans because it suggests that NE beats up on the palookas while taking it on the chin from the serious contenders, the more so because DEN is not considered to be a serious contender. Never mind that NE has won eight straight games and have earned the #1 seed in the AFC, that's not reassuring enough. I wanted to see if NE won in any challenging situations. I present the Pats' record against teams with winning records when they played them. WEEK 2: SD was 1-0 when NE beat them. WEEK 3: BUF was 2-0 when NE lost to them. WEEK 4: OAK was 2-1 when NE beat them. WEEK 8: PIT was 5-2 when NE lost to them. WEEK 9: NYG was 5-2 when NE lost to them. WEEK 10: NYJ was 5-3 when NE beat them. WEEK 15: DEN was 8-5 when NE beat them. "But Dick, half the numbers are from week 4 and before, you dick." True. And those three teams they played were not exactly lighting the world on fire last year either, thus militating against the quality of those wins. Fine. Their record against teams with winning records when they played them, after the first quarter of the season, is 2-2. "Dick, you cherry picked this stat, it doesn't mean anything, you cheesy homer, they haven't beaten anyone good." Maybe. But I could cherry-pick other reassuring stats too, such as NE's record against playoff teams from last year (5-1), or their record against teams which contended until the last week of this season (5-2), or their record against teams which have doomed coaches (4-0, I count MIA, SD, OAK there) (thus making the Pats coach-killers). I think this is the best measure of their schedule along the way. The Pats only played one of the top 5 teams (GB, NO, SF, PIT, BAL) this year. However, they did play some games in challenging circumstances, in which the other team was fighting for something, and NE won over half of those games. They have shown some spine this year.