Patriots Clinch First-Round Bye With Help From Jimmy Garoppolo

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Jimmy Garoppolo no longer is a member of the New England Patriots, but the quarterback gave his former team a Christmas gift on Sunday.

Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers won their fourth straight game when they pounded the Jacksonville Jaguars 44-33, and with the win, the Patriots officially clinched a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs.

The Patriots, who improved to 12-3 with a 37-16 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, can clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win in Week 17 or a Pittsburgh Steelers loss.

Pittsburgh plays the 4-10 Houston Texans on Monday and the 0-15 Cleveland Browns in Week 17, so the Patriots likely will have to beat the New York Jets in Week 17 to grab the No. 1 seed.

As for Jimmy G, he went 21-for-30 for 242 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in his fourth straight win as the 49ers’ signal-caller. He also added a rushing touchdown, becoming the first QB since Ben Roethlisberger to being his career 5-0.

Here are some of Garoppolo’s highlights from Sunday against one of the NFL’s top defenses:

Thanks, Jimmy.

Buffalo Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes
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