New England Patriots defeat New York Jets, 37-16

Linebacker Tedy Bruschi called it a chess match, one of the most mentally taxing games he's been a part of over his 11-year career.

Not to say there weren't hard hits, or that physical play wasn't on display, but when the Patriots and Jets clashed yesterday in the wild-card round of the AFC playoffs it was very much a thinking man's game.

The sides both wrestled to establish the tempo, making it hard for the other to substitute players. The Patriots opened the game w...

The game was even, except whenever it was on the line. Then yesterday was Patriots' Day, as it often is this time of year.

The New York Jets did an admirable job of keeping yesterday's AFC wild-card playoff game close for 3 1/2 quarters. They battled, they fought, they clawed, they competed.

But long before the Patriots finally exploded for two touchdowns in 22 seconds to turn a 7-point lead into a 37-16 rout, New England had won the game by winning the majority of t...

Winter hasn't yet come to New England, but the Patriots are still around to remind us that it's January.

The ring-endowed, battle-tested Sons of Bill Belichick returned to the NFL playoffs yesterday and rewarded their frothing fans with a 37-16 signature spanking of the New York Jets. In the only postseason game to be played at Gillette Stadium this season, Tom Brady and Co. overwhelmed their longtime division rivals from the Meadowlands.

It had been billed as Patrio...

It was like trying to play football in the middle of a freeway at rush hour. The action simply whirled around both teams at warp speed.

This was a necessary game plan for the Patriots, who had been manhandled by the Jets back on Nov. 12. Quarterback Tom Brady spent most of that dismal afternoon at Gillette Stadium under siege from New York's relentless blitz packages. He was sacked, harassed, flushed from the pocket, and ultimately negated from operating with his most l...