FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The regular season is over, the playoff field is set and the postseason begins Saturday.

The New England Patriots are in waiting mode after earning a first-round bye for the ninth year in a row.

Who’s next? There are three possible opponents for the Patriots in the AFC divisional round, and then, obviously, it could be anybody should the Patriots reach the AFC Championship Game.

How do the Patriots stack up? Here’s a look at each AFC playoff team and how the Patriots could match up in a potential playoff meeting.

1. Houston Texans (11-5)

The Patriots’ most likely playoff opponent is a familiar one. If Houston beats Indianapolis at home on Saturday, the Patriots and Texans would meet in the divisional round at Gillette Stadium for the third time since the 2012 season. Overall, New England is 10-1 against Houston, including wins in both prior playoff games and a season-opening victory back in September.

This season’s 27-20 victory was one of New England’s best performances of the season, but the Patriots may have also caught Houston at the perfect time.

Second-year quarterback Deshaun Watson was still feeling the effects of the torn ACL that cut his rookie season short, and the Texans eventually went on to start 0-3 before running off nine wins in a row en route to winning the AFC South championship.

Houston also boasts the league’s No. 3 run defense and a terrifying pass rush featuring J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus.

2. Baltimore Ravens (10-6)

Likely the team Patriots fans would least like to see in the playoffs, the Ravens enter the postseason having won six of their last seven games – with the lone loss coming in overtime against the Chiefs.

That hot streak coincides with the elevation of quarterback Lamar Jackson to the starting role. Jackson has thrown for 1,201 yards and six touchdowns while also burning defenses for 695 yards rushing and five touchdowns. He would present the Patriots’ defense with a unique challenge.

Beyond that, Baltimore has one of the league’s best defenses, ranked second in the NFL in points allowed.

3. Los Angeles Chargers (12-4)

Often overshadowed by their division rivals in Kansas City, the Chargers have been arguably the league’s second best team all season. The Chargers were tied for sixth in scoring (26.8 points per game) and got great seasons from quarterback Phillip Rivers (4,308 yards, 32 touchdowns) and receiver Keenan Allen (97 catches, 1,196 yards, 6 touchdowns). They also have one of the league’s best defenses, ranking eighth in points allowed (20.6 per game).

Los Angeles would earn a trip to Foxborough with a win over the Ravens and a Colts win over the Texans.

4. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4)

The earliest the Patriots could face the Chiefs is in the AFC Championship Game, but should the Patriots win their divisional round matchup, the Chiefs would be the most likely opponent.

While the Patriots did beat the Chiefs in the regular season 43-40, that win came at home, and a rematch would be played at Arrowhead Stadium, one of the most hostile environments in the NFL.

The Chiefs have lost in their first playoff game in nine of their previous 10 playoff appearances, and their only playoff win dating back to 1994 came in 2015 against the Houston Texans in the wild-card round. The Chiefs also have one of the NFL’s worst defenses.

That being said, this isn’t your father’s Chiefs. Kansas City finally has a quarterback in MVP favorite Patrick Mahomes, who just turned in one of the greatest seasons in NFL history with 5,097 yards passing and 50 touchdowns against just 12 interceptions.

Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill are explosive offensive weapons, and given the Patriots’ five road losses to non-playoff teams, the prospect of having to go into Arrowhead Stadium to beat the Chiefs doesn’t inspire confidence.

5. Indianapolis Colts (10-6)

This is the Patriots’ most unlikely playoff opponent. In order for the Patriots and Colts to square off, Indianapolis would have to go on the road and beat the Texans next weekend and then upset the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. But should that happen, New England would enter the AFC Championship Game as a prohibitive favorite, both based on the current rosters and the series’ recent history.

While Indianapolis has won four-straight entering the playoffs and would be red hot going into a prospective AFC Championship Game, the Patriots did beat the Colts 38-24 at home in Week 5. At one point, the Patriots led 24-3 and looked poised to really run away, but Andrew Luck kept the Colts in it by throwing for 365 yards and three touchdowns.

Luck was one of the league’s top quarterbacks this year with 4,593 yards passing and 39 touchdowns, and if the Colts were to make a run to the Super Bowl through Gillette Stadium, Luck would presumably be the main reason why.

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