Patriots lock up first seed in AFC

Quarterback Tom Brady and Coach Bill Belichick have led the Patriots to 15 division titles in the past 17 seasons. It's not always flashy and sometimes it's controversial but they always seem to get the job done
BC-FBN--Week 17-The Latest
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01 January, 2018

It was also Bill Belichick's 250th career regular-season win, moving him into a tie with Tom Landry for third all-time among head coaches.

Some may have looked at this season finale as one that wasn't very important, and a lot of fans believed the New England Patriots should have sat their starters.

Still, the Patriots have won 11 of their last 12 games, including a Week 15 thriller in Pittsburgh that yielded the direct path to AFC superiority. Two of those completions were touchdowns, however, and Dion Lewis ran the ball 26 times to keep the clock moving on a cold afternoon in New England.

After the Jets went 57 yards in 7 plays, including long gains from WR Jermaine Kearse and RB Bilal Powell, K Chandler Catanzaro split the uprights from 48-yards.

In the second quarter, WR Brandon Cooks caught a 5-yards touchdown pass from Brady.

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The Bucs, meanwhile, opened as a 4-point home underdog but the line was bet up almost three points and now the Falcons are -6 .5. However, the defense couldn't hold late and allowed a field goal with under a minute left to extend the losing streak.

Stephen Gostkowski hit his lone field goal attempt of 21 yards and all three of his extra points.

Lewis spearheaded the rushing attack against the Jets, finding the end zone once through the air and once on the ground.

Sunday's game saw the Patriots start quickly with a 75-yard touchdown drive and then slow down offensively for much of the first half, but they were able to turn a couple of first downs off of Jets penalties into a touchdown and then score again before the half to create plenty of breathing room.

It's the end of the year, which means everyone is coming up with ways in which they can improve in 2018.

In his first game with the Patriots after signing last Tuesday, James Harrison played 28 out of a possible 57 snaps and had two sacks and four tackles on the day. Cooks and the Patriots have a first-round bye to open the playoffs.


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