Published: Mon, January 01, 2018
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Best in the AFC! Patriots clinch top seed with victory over Jets

Best in the AFC! Patriots clinch top seed with victory over Jets

Still, the Patriots have won 11 of their last 12 games, including a Week 15 thriller in Pittsburgh that yielded the direct path to AFC superiority. The Pats offense sputtered throughout, leaning heavily on Dion Lewis to create yards. And Brandin Cooks led the way with five catches for 79 yards and a touchdown.

The offense then hit a cold spell as the Jets harassed Brady and erased Gronkowski with a host of heavy coverages while he still had a full workload. It was also the first game in his career he was not the target of a pass for an entire game.

James Harrison, signed this week after being released by the Steelers, recorded sacks on the games final two plays, forcing a fumble on his first sack that was recovered by NY.

Temperatures dipped into the low-teens at kickoff, but it didn't stop the Patriots from being aggressive at the outset.

Leading 7-3 in the second quarter, the Patriots took control of the game. The drive included a fourth-down pass conversion, one of three hookups between Brady and Danny Amendola in the series.

That march concluded with a one-sided drubbing of the Jets at a frigid Gillette Stadium, where the wind chill at kickoff was minus-2 degrees.

It wasn't Tom Brady's sharpest game as he went 18-of-37 for 190 yards without targeting tight end Rob Gronkowski at all. Still, New York had a mere 40 yards on the ground and Bryce Petty had just 232 yards through the air. NY was 0 for 12 on third down and 0 for 1 in its lone trip into the red zone. Cooks and the Patriots have a first-round bye to open the playoffs.

Lewis caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Brady with 23 seconds left in the first half. He was the best player on the field for the Pats.

The Jets would add a field goal in the fourth quarter to make the score 24-6.

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