Pats close in on homefield advantage
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Another week, another win, another reason to believe the Patriots are the team to beat in the AFC.
New England played it safe in the final two weeks of the regular season a year ago, and it might have cost it a trip to the Super Bowl.
But a dominating win over the Jets put the AFC on notice that the Patriots aren't in cruise control this time.
Tom Brady passed for three touchdowns in three quarters to add to his growing MVP candidacy. He said he has no plans of taking it easy in next week's regular-season finale at Miami.
"No, we are pretty focused on this week," Brady said. "It was just a quick six games before these last two games, and the schedule has been pretty tough. We have eight days before we play Miami, but I expect to go out there and try to be at my best."
New England's defense put together a second straight stellar performance. It forced four turnovers and allowed eight completions by quarterbacks Bryce Petty and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
For the season, the Patriots have forced 21 turnovers.
"Once you start doing things week in and week out, you start to conquer teams," said cornerback Malcolm Butler, who had two interceptions and a fumble recovery.