With a 20-10 win over the New York Jets the Patriots clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Boston Herald poses the question - does home field translate into a significant advantage? Do teams that have the coveted first-round bye and never have to leave home before the Super Bowl really reap the benefits? Since the NFL began designating a top playoff position in 1975, only 36-of-66 top-seeded teams (54.5 percent) have reached the Super Bowl. The good news for Patriots fans? Bill Belichick's teams have taken advantage. The 2003 Pats were the last top-seeded team to win the Super Bowl.
The Boston Globe notes that on New England's first two drives against the Jets, eight of Brady's first 10 passes were sent in Moss's direction, with four completed for 33 yards. In his weekly interview with WEEI radio, Tom Brady admitted sometimes he's guilty of locking in on Moss because he believes he'll come down with the ball.
"Yeah, no question," he said. "The problem is you get spoiled because sometimes you just throw it up like in Miami and he does make the catches and everybody goes, 'Great play, great read.' Where you're like, 'Not really.' You get definitely a safety blanket when you have him on the field, and I go to him quite a bit. I go to Wes and I go to Donte'."
The Boston Globe writes that since the 56-10 win over the Bills on November 18th, the Patriots offense has gone from superhuman to simply superb, averaging 28 points per game. Teams haven't found a way to stop the Patriots, but with a little help from Mother Nature they have slowed them down. New England recorded season lows in points, net passing yards (134), and total yards (265) in a wet and windy 20-10 win over the New York Jets Sunday.
The Boston Herald offers a piece on Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour, who was a force during Sunday's 20-10 win at Gillette Stadium. He set up safety Eugene Wilson's 5-yard interception return for a touchdown by pressuring Kellen Clemens and driving the New York quarterback to the turf. As a result of the hit, Clemens would leave the game with a rib injury. Seymour now appears to be back in top shape after undergoing offseason knee surgery, that caused him to miss training camp and the first seven games of the season. The Providence Journal also offers a similar piece on Seymour.
The Providence Journal writes that the Patriots have the opportunity to do things this season that the NFL has never seen. The 1972 Dolphins played a 14-game regular season. No team has gone 16-0 in the regular season and the Patriots have an excellent opportunity to do that. In addition, dating back to last season, the Patriots have now won 17 consecutive regular-season games, which ranks second to their record of 18-straight regular-season wins they achieved during the 2003 and 2004 seasons. According to Patriots wide receiver Jabar Gaffney the Patriots are still taking that one game at a time approach.
"Winning the first 14 games is a feat in itself," Gaffney said. "We never set out to be 14-0. We just try to go one game at a time and try to win the next one and then the one after. We have done a really good job at that and we will continue to do that. We have the Dolphins coming in and we will go on and prepare for them and hopefully after that keep going."
The Boston Herald offers its Patriots report card.
The Boston Globe's Patriots blog takes a look at the snaps played by Patriots defensive players against the Jets as well as the positional groupings utilized by the Patriots' offense in Sunday's win.
The Boston Herald takes a look at the best and worst from Sunday's game against the Jets.