Regardless of what we think of the strengths of any of the playoff combatants, each one has the potential to take it all the way. The Baltimore Ravens (whether you think they won fairly or not), backed into the playoffs in 2012 and came away with the trophy, winning in true underdog fashion in every round.
The trend in the modern era has not always been for the best team to ride their regular season success to ultimate glory. In fact, only two teams that earned the No. 1 seed in the past decade, The New Orleans Saints and The New England Patriots, have managed to take home the Lombardi Trophy. And only nine even made it to the big game!
That reminds us that regular season performance does not guarantee anything in the postseason. The real question ought to be: who is hottest in the latter half, or quarter, of the year?
The New England Patriots only managed to snag the second seed at the conclusion of the 2013 season; they are in a pretty good spot considering the course in which 2013 sent them.
The Patriots have three possible visitors to Foxboro come divisional week, based on the outcomes of the wild card match-ups. San Diego is the only team that cannot play the Patriots, due to them being the lowest overall seed.
This is what Belichick can expect: