FOXBORO, Mass — With two warmup home games in the rearview and a bye week in the horizon, the New England Patriots officially are on to the postseason.
The Patriots did what they should have in a decisive 38-3 win over the New York Jets. With the victory, the Patriots clinched a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs. They’ll need the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers to lose to move up to the No. 1 seed. If either team wins, the Patriots will stay in the No. 2 seed.
Here’s who helped the Patriots most in their regular-season finale:
QB TOM BRADY
Brady had a vintage performance, and one of his best games of the season, going 24-of-33 for 250 yards with four touchdowns, three of which came in the first half. Even with a limited supply of weapons, Brady was able to spread the ball around to his receivers, throwing completions to seven different pass-catchers.
WR PHILLIP DORSETT
With Cordarrelle Patterson out with a knee injury and Josh Gordon suspended, Dorsett stepped up as the Patriots’ No. 3 receiver. He caught five passes on five targets for 34 yards with a touchdown. He also carried the ball twice for 16 yards.
WR JULIAN EDELMAN
Edelman caught five passes on six targets for 69 yards with a touchdown. He was penalized for the third straight game, but he didn’t suffer a drop for the first time since Week 12.
DE TREY FLOWERS
Flowers had a monster game as a pass rusher and run stuffer. He registered a sack, a forced fumble, four run stuffs and six total tackles.
He led the Patriots with 7.5 sacks this season, which is a career high.
CB STEPHON GILMORE
Gilmore has been one of the NFL’s best defensive players this season. He continued his tear Sunday when he allowed just three catches on eight targets for 14 yards with two pass breakups.
The cornerback shadowed Jets top wideout Robby Anderson for most of the game.
DT ADAM BUTLER
Butler strip-sacked Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, leading to…
LB KYLE VAN NOY
A 46-yard scoop and score by Van Noy.
LB ELANDON ROBERTS
The Patriots’ inside linebacker was a force in the run game with three stuffs. He had six total tackles.