The divisional round was a nail-biter, but when the Patriots' fourth consecutive AFC Championship Game came around, they decided to save their nerves for the Super Bowl.
The game was a blowout from the start, with the Pats defeating the Indianapolis Colts by a 45-7 margin, aided by a running back running wild - LeGarrette Blount rushed for 148 yards and three touchdowns in the victory.
An impressive ground game in nasty weather was a big help to a team that ran for just 14 yards against the Baltimore Ravens a week earlier. But the win over the Colts was anything but one-dimensional.
Quarterback Tom Brady completed 23 of 45 pass attempts through the rain for 226 yards. He added three touchdowns, throwing one pick and being sacked once.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman led the team both in catches, with nine, and in receiving yards, with 98. Tight end Rob Gronkowski made just three catches, with none coming before the third quarter. But one of them brought a touchdown.
The other two targets Brady found in the end zone were surprising - offensive tackle Nate Solder and fullback James Develin.
Darrelle Revis and Jamie Collins both caught interceptions by Andrew Luck, who took the Colts' reins from Peyton Manning, whose Denver Broncos were obliterated by Indianapolis last week.
Luck is a rising star in this league, but he may not be in the upper echelon quite yet. With a quarterback rating of just 23.0 Sunday, he completed only 12 passes in 33 attempts, throwing for 126 yards.
But were there any question marks in the game? Any holes that Bill Belichick felt needed to be addressed?
"We're on to Seattle," he said with a smile.
The Seahawks, who had to come back to beat the Green Bay Packers in overtime, are the reigning Super Bowl champs. The last team to repeat? Back in 2005, Brady brought the Lombardi Trophy to the Pats for the third time in four years.