FOXBORO — Brandon Spikes  has seen the playoffs with the Patriots from a couple of different perspectives, both equally disappointing and painful.
He desperately wants the chance to finally finish one successfully.
“Postseason is what it’s about,” said the second-round pick of the Patriots in 2010 (62nd overall). “Either go hard or go home. It’s that simple. So, definitely looking forward to this. It’s everything we’ve built on in terms of physicality and they’re coming out trying to run the ball and we want to establish the dominance early.”
“It is postseason. We’re going to be ready no matter what. We’re expecting the unexpected so we’re definitely going to be prepared.”
Spikes was on the 2010 team that suffered a shocking 28-21 loss to the Jets in the AFC divisional round after thumping them 45-3 on a Monday night several weeks earlier. He was also on the team last season that came so close against the Giants  in the Super Bowl , a game in which he made a team-leading 11 tackles.
With Jerod Mayo  in the background making faces, Spikes was asked about last year and being so close, and if it motivates him right now.
“Why do you have to bring that up? Come on,” Spikes said with a good-natured smile. “I’m trying to forget about that. Like I said, of course, everybody feels like we came up short but that’s part of the game. That’s part of football. We just have to come and do whatever we can not to let that happen again. We had a great day today and looking forward to tomorrow and trying to get better and get that edge.
“I approach the postseason like, ‘That’s it.’ If we don’t come out and play well, we’re going to be at home, plain and simple, watching the next game. That’s a terrible feeling. We just have to come out and execute.”
This year, Spikes has had a breakout season, second on the team to Mayo in tackles with 128. He’s also been nursing a sore knee and ankle. But the week off helped.
“I feel great,” Spikes said Tuesday. “I’ve been feeling great. But it’s postseason, it’s been a long year and nobody’s healthy, nobody is 100 percent. I just have to deal with it and try to get better every day.”
“You just have to leave it all out there or go home. It’s that simple. We want to come out and play well and definitely in the postseason at home. We’re looking forward to this game.”
They’ll need that attitude on Sunday when they take on Arian Foster, coming of a 140-yard, 32-carry game against the Bengals in the wild-card round.
“He’s an all-around player,” Spikes said. “He’s one of the emotional guys for them. He obviously gets the offense going and that team going. He’s definitely a big target for us and as far as the linebackers and entire front seven, we want to come out and contain him, definitely.”