FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) – Having already secured a first-round playoff bye, the 12-2 Patriots are now playing for home-field advantage.
The next step is to defeat the 4-10 Jets, who come to town at 1 p.m. Saturday. If they win, and if the 11-3 Raiders lose to the 7-7 Colts, the Patriots will clinch the AFC title. If they don’t get any help from the Colts this week, they will clinch if they also beat Miami next weekend.
Last season, the Pats dropped their last two games of the season – also against the Jets and Dolphins – to finish 12-4 and miss out on home-field advantage. The year culminated with their defeat at the hands of the Broncos in Denver in the AFC Championship game.
So, the Pats have some motivation to finish this season strong.
On the other sideline – Jets coach Todd Bowles was hospitalized Friday with that the team called an “undisclosed illness” but traveled with the teem and is expected to coach today.