Archive for Monday, January 7, 2008

Patriots prepare for Jags

January 7, 2008

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— Bill Belichick spent more time during the weekend studying Jacksonville than his other possible playoff opponents.

It was time well spent.

The New England Patriots, the No. 1 seed in the AFC, will be home in a divisional playoff game next Saturday night against the Jaguars, the lowest remaining seed in the conference.

"We've kind of been spending, I would say, of the three possible opponents, most of our time on Jacksonville," the Patriots coach said Sunday night, "given the fact that we played Pittsburgh a month ago and we played Tennessee earlier in the season."

New England beat Tennessee in an exhibition game and Pittsburgh in Game 13.

The Patriots, the only team in NFL history with a 16-0 regular-season record, drew a bye in the first playoff weekend.

Last season, the Patriots won at Jacksonville 24-21 in their 15th game to clinch their fourth consecutive AFC East title.

"The (Jaguars) are very physical," Belichick said. "Any team that runs the ball as well as they do and stops the run as well as they do, they're able to do a real good job on the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball."

The Jaguars rushed for the second most yards in the league but were only 11th best in stopping the run.

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