The Patriots clearly had a tough matchup yesterday in New York. They had LeGarrette Blount and Julian Edelman inactive. That gave Danny Amendola a chance to play after a quiet season. Amendola returned a kickoff to the opposing forty yard line and had many targets from Tom Brady. Early in, offense on both teams struggled, both gong 3 and out in their first drive. Sheldon Richardson sacked Tom Brady, and Vince Wilfork sacked Geno Smith. Rob Gronkowski was the first to score, before the Jets scored both a touchdown and a field goal. The Pats then scored a field goal, followed by another by the Jets. The game was becoming a field goal contest between Stephen Gostkowski and Nick Folk. The Patriots then squeezed in another touchdown using their second string running back for the day, Jonas Gray, who had been a touchdown machine in Indianapolis before LeGarrette Blount resigned with the Patriots. With him and Stevan Ridley still out, it was a similar running back situation to that game, with Shane Vereen moving from RB2 to RB1, making Gray the new RB2 and Brandon Bolden, the fourth string running back, temporarily 3rd string. That made it 17-13 Patriots, but the Jets squeezed in one more field goal, and there was still time left in the fourth quarter. Nick Folk missed one field goal and had another blocked. That meant that the Patriots held on to win. They took a knee three times to finish the game. The win puts the Patriots at 12-3. They had clinched a first round bye. With Cincinnati’s win over Denver, the Pats can clinch home field advantages. If you want to see the full playoff picture, see below.
Seed Team Record Division Led Proj.
1st New England Patriots 12-3 AFC East W,W
2nd Denver Broncos 11-3 AFC West L,W
3rd Indianapolis Colts 10-5 AFC South W,W
4th Cincinnati Bengals 9-4-1 AFC North W,L
5th Pittsburgh Steelers 10-5 W,W
6th San Diego Chargers 9-6 L,L
In The Hunt
Baltimore Ravens 9-6 L,W
Miami Dolphins 8-7 W,W
Houston Texans 8-7 W,W
Buffalo Bills 8-7 L,L
Kansas City Chiefs 7-8 L,W
1st Seattle Seahawks 11-4 NFC West W,W
2nd Detroit Lions 11-4 NFC North L,L
3rd Dallas Cowboys 11-4 NFC East L,L
4th Carolina Panthers 6-8-1 NFC South W,L
5th Green Bay Packers 11-4 W,W
6th Arizona Cardinals 11-4 L,L
In The Hunt
Atlanta Falcons 6-9 L,W
Division opponents Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills are still in the hunt, but the Patriots have clinched the division. Next week is the last before the playoffs. There’s no Thursday or Monday games, and the Sunday Night game is unknown. I don’t know, but there might even be no 4pm games. Everyone plays a division opponent, some are fighting for a playoff spot.