|12.27.09 at 6:50 pm ET|
Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here’s today’s complete postgame transcript from Bill Belichick:
BB: That was really a nice performance by the players today. I thought those guys really did a good job. We had a real good week of practice with the holidays and everything. But I thought they did a good job of being focused all the way through — Wednesday, Thursday, Friday [and they] just carried it right into today. I thought they played a real good football game today. The players stepped up. They made play after play. We just did a lot of things right out there. I’m really proud of them. I thought they earned what they got today. It’s a good win for us, a real good win. Right now we’ll just enjoy it here for a little while and then kind of figure out what’s next. But it’s good to walk off that field as AFC East Champions this year and I’m really proud of the way the players stepped up and played today.
Q: What does this title mean to you?
BB: Right now, it means that our season goes on. We’ll figure out exactly what that means later. It’s good to be in the postseason.
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|12.27.09 at 6:15 pm ET|
FOXBORO – Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Wes Welker, three leaders of the Patriots, all spoke afterward about the significance of clinching the AFC East on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
|12.27.09 at 5:29 pm ET|
FOXBORO – Randy Moss had fun everywhere he looked on Sunday during the team’s 35-7 AFC East-clinching win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
Whether it was the three touchdowns or the fan on the video board wearing a mask of his likeness, [circa 2000 with afro], it was a day to remember for Moss.
Afterward he spoke about it and took questions.
|12.27.09 at 5:05 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi called them hat and T-shirt games, and few teams have been better at coming away with wins in those contests than New England.
Sunday’s 35-7 win over the Jaguars in front of a sold-out Gillette Stadium clinched the seventh division title in the last nine seasons for the Patriots, and many of them were sporting the new swag immediately following the contest.
“It’s good to walk off that field as AFC East Champions,” said Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who has been at the helm for all of New England’s AFC East Championships since 2001. “Right now, it means our season goes on. We’ll figure out exactly what that means later. It’s good to be in the postseason.”
Randy Moss, who spoke with the media following the game, said not capturing the division in 2008 was “very disappointing,” but was clearly happy in the wake of Sunday’s win.
“It’s good we’ve got the division back in New England,” said Moss, who had four catches — three of them for touchdowns — on the day.
“Getting the hat and T-shirt and winning the division was huge,” said Wes Welker, who finished with 13 catches for 138 yards. “We’re happy to get out there and take care of business.”
While hat and T-shirt games are — pardon the pun — old hat for many of the veteran Patriots, there are some players who will be getting a taste of the postseason for the first time in a New England uniform.
“This is what I came here for,” said cornerback Leigh Bodden, who is coming off an 0-16 season with the Lions and will be making the first trip to the playoffs in his seventh season in the NFL.
On the flip side, quarterback Tom Brady, right guard Stephen Neal, left tackle Matt Light and running back Kevin Faulk are now part of a group that has won seven division championships.
“It’s big,” Brady said. “It’s been a long journey for us. It started out at the beginning of January last year not making the playoffs, and then, how you’re going to prepare the team through the offseason program and the minicamps and the training camps, to have this opportunity to play for this — while last year, we were hoping for people to lose to have the opportunity to make the playoffs.
“There’s no greater opportunity for us as athletes, with two games remaining to kind of cinch up the division with a win. We put a lot into it over the course of these 12 months, and it really pays off when it goes the way that you hope it does. There’s a lot of people putting a lot of hard work in over the course of this time, a lot of guys coming and working to learn the system.
“It’s a great win for us.”
New England has now qualified for the playoffs 17 times in its 50-year history, and has earned 11 playoff berths in the 16 seasons since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. Overall, New England has won 12 division crowns and has qualified as a Wild Card team on four occasions (1998, 1994, 1985 and 1976). (The Patriots also qualified for the playoffs in 1982 as part of a 16-team tournament following a players’ strike.
|12.27.09 at 3:40 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots just put the wraps on a 35-7 win over the Jaguars in front of a sold-out crowd at Gillette Stadium. (Click here for box score.) We’ll have more for you shortly — quotes, notes and analysis — but here are a few early notes:
• New England moves to 10-5 on the season with the victory and completes a perfect 8-0 regular-season mark at home. In addition, the Patriots clinched the division title with the win. Meanwhile, Jacksonville drops to 7-8.
• New England was in control of this one from late in the first quarter. Jacksonville was unsuccessful on a pair of attempts to try to get a first down — the Jags couldn’t convert on a third-and-1 and were stopped on a fourth-and-1, turning the ball over on downs with 4:53 left in the first. The Patriots quickly responded — four plays later, they had their first touchdown of the game, a 2-yard pass from Tom Brady to Randy Moss with 2:48 left in the first quarter that made it 7-0.
• The Patriots were particularly impressive in the second quarter, putting together three quick drives — consisting of two, six and seven plays — and shooting to a 28-0 lead at halftime. After that, they coasted to the finish. The lone stain on the New England offense was an early goal-line fumble by running back Laurence Maroney. Maroney was removed and did not play the rest of the way.
• The Patriots controlled all three phases of the game, holding the Jacksonville running attack in check for most of the afternoon. Offensively, they moved the ball without much trouble — punter Chris Hanson punted just once all day. When Jags quarterback David Garrard did decide to throw the ball, he was ineffective and just plain wild, throwing two interceptions.
• Stat standouts on the afternoon included Brady, who was excellent on the afternoon, going 23-for-26 for 267 yards and four touchdown passes. Sammy Morris had 12 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown, while Wes Welker had 13 catches for 138 yards and Randy Moss had four catches for 45 yards and three touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, Garrard was 19-for-25 for 185, while Maurice Jones-Drew had 63 rushing yards.
Check back for all the reaction from both locker rooms …
|12.27.09 at 3:16 pm ET|
FOXBORO — A two-yard touchdown run from Jacksonville’s David Garrard after an extended scramble makes it 35-7 with 12:41 left in the game. It put the capper on a five-play, 70-yard drive that took 2:13.
|12.27.09 at 3:08 pm ET|
FOXBORO — A 17-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Randy Moss makes it 35-0 with 14:54 left in the fourth quarter.
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