Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page By Brandon Chase Globe Correspondent December 30, 2018 There’s a lot at stake for the Patriots as they finish their regular season Sunday against the Jets at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots clinched the AFC East last Sunday with a win over the Bills, but their playoff seed is still in flux. They can be any of the top four AFC seeds by day’s end, and their fate depends not only on their own play, but the results of other games from around the league. Click here to refresh this page. First quarter Patriots 7, Jets 0 (5:16): New England running back James White capped a 9 play, 59-yard drive with a 17-yard touchdown reception. Tom Brady kept the chains moving as the Patriots advanced downfield, finding Phillip Dorsett for a first down on 3rd and 3, then firing a screen pass to Chris Hogan. Hogan left a would-be tackler grasping at thin air with a shimmy, … [Read more...] about Jets at Patriots: Live updates and analysis
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A Patriots loss to the Dolphins on Sunday did more than simply create the latest in a line of NFL miracles. It added more intrigue to an increasingly complicated AFC playoff picture. Because of the race to attain first-round playoff byes, even the best teams are still sprinting to the finish of the regular season. The Chiefs and Patriots currently occupy the two top spots, though the race remains tight. Beyond that, a range of teams remain in the hunt, either for a bye or simply a wild-card berth. Even teams below .500 like the Browns and Bengals are still alive for postseason contention. Here’s a look at the remaining schedules for each of the AFC playoff contenders: First-round bye Chiefs (11-2): After surviving overtime against the Ravens, the Chiefs remain in the driver’s seat to clinch the AFC’s top seed and home-field advantage. That said, the remaining schedule offers a test against the Chargers on a short week, as well as a trip to Seattle: Week 15: Thursday … [Read more...] about A complete look at the current AFC playoff picture
Here’s a crazy thought: The Houston Texans with home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. Yep, the team that began the season 0-3 just might sneak past the Chiefs and Patriots and claim that coveted spot. The Texans have won nine in a row. They’ve done so in all sorts of ways, from strong defense to opportunistic offense to solid special teams to superb coaching. On Sunday, they face Indianapolis (6-6) and can pretty much knock the Colts out of postseason contention with a win. Indianapolis has won three of the past four against the Texans in a series in which the past eight games were decided by seven or fewer points. Should Houston get by the Colts, the remainder of the schedule has visits to the Jets and Eagles and a home finale against Jacksonville. Considering that two-month string of wins, why can’t the Texans run the table? “It’s a small accomplishment,” says defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who has justified being the top overall pick … [Read more...] about Texans, once 0-3, could sneak past Pats, Chiefs to top AFC
I thought about this quite a bit Tuesday morning, and ultimately it was easy to arrive at the conclusion: The Rams-Chiefs fireworks display on Monday Night Football was the most entertaining regular season game I’ve ever seen. The only disappointment in the Rams’ 54-51 win was that it didn’t go to overtime. I think I said “Wow!’’ during that one even more than ESPN wood-carved analyst Jason Witten, and “wow’’ is his go-to exclamation for anything even mildly exciting. We’ll know he’s progressing as an analyst when starts mixing in a “whoa!’’ every once in a while. Here’s an honorable mention of regular-season games that I considered as potentially the best I’d seen until Monday night: The Patriots’ 38-35 victory over the Giants in the 2007 regular-season finale to go 16-0; the 35-34 loss to the Colts — the fourth-and-2 game — during Week 10 of the ill-fated 2009 season; and … [Read more...] about It’s tempting to say the Patriots can’t hang with the NFL’s best. But they already have.
Patriots fans knew Devin McCourty was fast. The 31-year-old captain demonstrated that in Week 6 against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Patriots were leading, 30-26, in the fourth quarter when rookie Tremon Smith fielded a kick and took off down the right sideline, heading for an apparent touchdown. But McCourty never gave up on the play, and was able to chase down Smith and tackle him from behind just inside the 5-yard line. It was a 97-yard return for Smith. That speed was evident again in Monday night’s 25-6 win over the Buffalo Bills. With the Patriots leading, 18-6, in the fourth quarter, the Bills were marching down the field, but McCourty was able to pick off a Derek Anderson pass and take off 84 yards down the left sideline to put the game out of reach for a 25-6 lead. McCourty was hauling on that play. Just how fast was he going? We know that McCourty reached a top speed of 22.05 miles per hour, the fastest speed a ball carrier has reached this season. That information comes … [Read more...] about What the NFL’s NextGen stats tell us about the Patriots