FOXBORO -- The Patriots played four of the other five AFC playoff teams this season, and went 3-1 in those games, losing only to Baltimore.
They didn't play Cincinnati, but the only way the Patriots would have to play the Bengals, would be in the AFC Championship, if the Bengals defeated both Houston and Denver.
So it's a longshot.
As for the other four teams, having the experience of already playing them this season is certainly a positive, according to at least one Patriots player.
"Absolutely, the more film that we have on whoever we play, the better," said running back Stevan Ridley on Monday. "So, they're going to look at it and put us in a position to go out there and be successful, and we have to execute."
The Patriots have Tuesday off, and will practice Wednesday and Thursday before having Friday through Sunday off.
Ridley was one of the few Patriots players who spoke to the media after meetings on Monday at Gillette Stadium, a day after their 28-0 win over Miami in the regular-season finale.
He said he won't be watching next weekend's Wild Card round.
"I'll be hunting," he said. "I'm going down South, man. So probably not."
But before and after that, the Patriots have work to do. Even Ridley -- who ran for over 1,200 yards this season -- knows that.
"Yeah, coach Bill Belichick's going to have something to say," said Ridley. "But if he didn't, it wouldn't be Coach.
"We're trying to play perfect football," added Ridley. "And that's impossible, of course, but when you make a mistake, you best believe that this is one place that it's not going to slide. He's going to mention it. He's going to try to critique it, correct it, and we'll move forward."
As good as he's been, Ridley still hasn't played perfect football this year. Just look at his four fumbles.
But he didn't lose the football on Sunday. And he scored two touchdowns, helping himself and his team to a first-round bye.
The Patriots will need more of that in two weeks.
"I'm thankful," said Ridley. "The offensive line is doing a tremendous job. I'm blessed. For us to be rolling into the playoffs right now, coming off a game like that, that's what we needed. So we're just going to keep working.
"It's a great feeling when the offense is clicking. And it was clicking on the ground, it was clicking in the air. We had things going. It was just a good day for us, and that only comes through hard work and preparation throughout the week. And that's what we did."