Being a member of the Patriots during the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era has generally meant a guaranteed place in the playoffs.
Still, for 20 players on the Patriots' active roster Saturday will mark the first taste of the postseason of their NFL careers.
That group includes a pair of starters who have filled significant roles for New England this season in defensive end Chris Long and receiver Chris Hogan.
Long hadn't won more than seven games in any of his eight years with the Rams from 2008 to 2015 prior to signing with New England this offseason.
Hogan, in his fourth season, spent the previous three seasons playing for AFC East rival Buffalo. The closest...