After closing the regular season with a rough 2-4 stretch, the Patriots came alive to beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Division Round.
It ended as a nailbiter, wiith running back Charcandrick West scoring with just over a minute to play, but a failed onside kick by the Chiefs went straight to Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, leading New England to victory.
Injuries were a huge part of the story in the second half for a team that got off to a 10-0 start. Wide receiver Julian Edelman made a triumphant return - Brady hit him nine times for 88 yards.
He and tight end Gronk were both listed as questionable this week, and both were important factors in the win - Gronk added two touchdowns on seven catches for 83 yards.
Tom Brady threw for 302 yards, completing 28 of 42 pass attempts. Another important positive in his line - he was not sacked once. Some of that credit belongs to left tackle Sebastian Vollmer, who missed the last seven quarters of the year and was back Saturday.
New England's running game didn't make as much of a mark as the Chiefs, who rushed for 135 yards - 61 by west, 44 by quarterback Alex Smith and 30 by Knile Davis. The Pats rushed for 38, but that included a Tom Brady touchdown.
Injured Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount, however, played the role of the cheerleader - tweeting encouragement (some NSFW) for his teammates as he watched like the team's fans.
The Patriots will travel to Denver to face the Broncos in the AFC Championship. The winner of that game goes to the Super Bowl.