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Pats clinch playoff berth with 34-10 victory

The Patriots clinched their second playoff berth in three years with a 34-10 victory over the New York Jets. They were led by Curtis Martin, who rushed for 94 yards and a touchdown in the game and eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing plateau for the season. The Patriots set the tone early in the game. They were unable to convert their opening possession, yet pinned the Jets back deep in their own territory when kicker Adam Vinatieri successfully landed a pooch punt out of field goal formation at the 3-yard line. A Jerome Henderson interception on the following possession led to a 2-yard touchdown pass from Drew Bledsoe to TE Ben Coates for an early 7-0 lead. The Patriots threatened to take a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter, but were denied on three attempts from inside the Jets' 2-yard line and had to settle for a 19-yard field goal. The Jets responded with a 27-yard field goal by Nick Lowery to pull to within sever, 10-3. On their ensuing possession, the patriots drive 59 yards on seven plays, capped by a 19-yard touchdown run by Curtis Martin. The touchdown gave the Patriots a17-3 lead and gave Curtis Martin an NFL-high 17 for the season. The Patriots had one last possession in the half with 1:33 remaining and drove 26 yards in eight plays to set up a 41-yard field goal by Vinatieri with just :07 left on the clock. The Jets answered in the second half, scoring on a 4-yard pass from Glenn Foley to Keyshawn Johnson to pull back to within 10, 20-10, but that was as close as they would get. Patriots CB Ty Law eliminated any threat of a Jets comeback when he intercepted a pass from Foley along the sideline and streaked 38 yards for his first career touchdown and a 27-10 lead.

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