NEW ENGLAND (14-2)
OFFENSE — OVERALL (4), RUSH (7), PASS (4)
DEFENSE — OVERALL (8), RUSH (3), PASS (12)
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICAL LEADERS
PASSING — Tom Brady 3,554 yards, 28 TDs, 2 INTs
RUSHING — LeGarrette Blount 1,161 yards, 18 TDs
RECEIVING — Julian Edelman 98 catches, 1,106 yards, 3 TDs; Martellus Bennett 55, 701 yards, 7
INTERCEPTIONS — Malcolm Butler 4
SACKS — Trey Flowers 7; Jabaal Sheard 5; Chris Long, 4
Patriots completely dominated in 27-16 win at Pittsburgh. Brady completed 19 of 26 for 222 yards and two touchdowns to improve to 9-2 against Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger did not play for Pittsburgh.
In final game of Brady’s four-game “Deflategate” suspension, New England’s offense was stagnant in 16-0 home defeat to Bills. Third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett struggled one week after injuring right thumb. Patriots were blanked at home for first time since 6-0 loss to Jets in 1993.
THEY CAN WIN IT ALL IF …
Brady continues to play with exceptional efficiency he has shown so far. But he will also need support from defense that started slowly, yet enters playoffs allowing NFL-low 15.6 points per game.
THEY CAN LOSE FIRST GAME IF …
Offensive line takes step backward. Not only has it done better job protecting Brady, it has opened lanes for Blount to produce career-best numbers.
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