The 2018 Patriots regular season came to a close in impressive winning fashion Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium, the team's 38-3 blowout of the Jets giving Bill Belichick's squad a two-game winning streak heading into playoff action.
The victory, New England's 11th of the season, along with the rest of Sunday's action secured the defending AFC champs the No. 2 seed in the conference playoff picture and the bye that goes with that slot.
The Boston Globe declared that with his four touchdown passes against New York, vintage Tom Brady returned just in time for the playoffs. The Globe writes that the AFC playoffs set up just about as well as possible for the Patriots. The Globe says that New England showed right away against New York that it was the better team. The Globe notes that after weeks of quiet play, both Chris Hogan and Phillip Dorsett were in the middle of the winning action against New York. Now that the dust has settled on this season, the Globe passes along the Patriots finalized 2019 list of opponents. The Globe advises to not put much stock in beating the Jets. The Globe gathers up the best and worst of the win over New York. The Globe describes the Patriots locker room after the win as more of an exhalation than a celebration. One of the few negatives of the win, as the Globe notes, was Devin McCourty leaving with a head injury and not returning.
As the Patriots open the bye week, the Globe reports that the Packers will request permission to interview New England assistants Josh McDaniels and Brian Flores for their open head coaching job.
The Boston Herald writes that the Patriots demolished the Jets to clinch the No. 2 seed. The Herald ranks New England's possible playoff opponents from toughest to easiest. Following Sunday's performance, the Herald declares, "that's more like the Tom Brady we know." The Herald says that Stephon Gilmore closed his Pro Bowl season with a dominant performance against Robby Anderson and the Jets. The Herald writes about Hogan catching up in the big win. The Herald observes that the Patriots played their way into "tough-out" status.
The Providence Journal has its game story on the Patriots impressive win. The ProJo has Gilmore discussing his Pro Bowl season saying, "Film don't lie." ProJo columnist Kevin McNamara writing that division patsies, like the Jets, are key to the Patriots success.
ESPNBoston.com writes that Brady tuned up as the Patriots routed the Jets.
WEEI.com declares that Brady and the Patriots are going into the playoffs on about as high a notes as possible. WEEI.com offers some quick thoughts on the win over New York, one which clinched New England a playoff bye for the ninth straight winter. WEEI.com has Patriots players reacting to earning the bye. WEEI.com notes Hogan and Dorsett being featured on Sunday, but wonders if that will continue into the postseason. WEEI.com has Julian Edelman saying he will appeal the three fines he received for infractions in the win over the Bills, declaring that, "I guess the game is changing a little." WEEI.com also has Gilmore assessing his own impressive play this season.
NBC Sports Boston writes that the Patriots are ignoring the noise as the playoffs loom. NBC Sports Boston says the New England run defense toughened up down the stretch, including Sunday against New York's Elijah McGuire. NBC Sports Boston notes that Brady showed some life in the face of recent criticism. NBC Sports Boston says that New England is sitting pretty at the No. 2 seed.
NFL.com analyzes the overall playoff picture. NFL.com notes that after losing in New England, Jets head coach Todd Bowles was fired. NFL.com also announces the entire playoff schedule, with the Patriots returning to action at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 13 against either the Texans, Ravens or Chargers. NFL.com offers up what we learned on Sunday, including from the Patriots impressive win.
MassLive.com writes that the Patriots blowout of the Jets was an ideal launch pad for New England's postseason run. MassLive.com says this was just the latest example of how lopsided the rivalry across all sports between Boston and New York has become.