They answered with a resounding 45-10 thumping of the Broncos, that included record-setting performances all around and a defensive performance that was perhaps their most impressive in two years.
It was evident from the first snap that Tom Brady and company were on a mission. The fiery intent in their eyes belied the calm answers they gave when asked about their three-game playoff drought, including two embarrassing losses in Foxborough.
In what was their most complete game of the season, the Patriots showed why they're a force to be reckoned with in this NFL postseason. They have a terrific chance to take home the Lombardi Trophy for the fourth time in eleven years.
Here are five takeaways from the Pats' blowout victory.