FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The Patriots claim they don't think about playoff seeding. They say the only games they focus on are the next one or two. Win and their postseason position will take care of itself.
Winning their remaining two regular-season games, though, may not help this time around. Not after Sunday night's 41-34 loss to San Francisco.
The Patriots went into it in second place in the AFC and in strong position to snare one of two conference byes. They came out the No. 3 seed with the likely prospect of a wild-card game. After that — should they win — a road game in the division round. Not easy.
"I'm not even thinking about the playoffs right now," linebacker Rob Ninkovich said Monday. "I'm just focusing on the next two games."
It was a day-after-game reality the Patriots don't face very often — coping with a loss.
They had won seven straight since a 24-23 loss Oct. 14 at Seattle. New England saw the end of two streaks: 20 straight home wins in December, dating to 2002, and 21 straight wins in the second half of a schedule.
But for coach Bill Belichick Monday was another day to wrap up the latest effort and look ahead to the next, Sunday against the Jaguars.
"I'd say we pretty much do the same thing we always do," he said. "…We'll talk about the things that we did right and reinforce those. We'll talk about the things we did wrong and correct those. Once that's over with, we'll put this game to rest and move on to Jacksonville."
Report: Steroids in system of Reid's son
PHILADELPHIA — The oldest son of Eagles coach Andy Reid had illegal anabolic steroids in his Lehigh University dormitory room when he died of a heroin overdose Aug. 5 during training camp, Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said.
Tests showed that 19 vials found in Garrett Reid's gym bag contained four types of anabolic steroids used for bodybuilding, Morganelli said. The steroids did not contribute to Reid's death, the district attorney said. Garrett Reid, 29, was an assistant on the Eagles' strength and conditioning staff.
"There is no evidence that he was selling steroids or heroin," Morganelli said. Authorities also found 47 syringes and 64 needles, which "could have been all for his personal use," Morganelli said.
In a statement, Andy Reid said he was confident that his son's decisions "did not affect our football team in any way."
BRENT SURPRISED TEAM: Josh Brent, free on bond while facing an intoxication manslaughter charge for the wreck that killed Cowboys teammate Jerry Brown, surprised coach Jason Garrett and owner Jerry Jones by appearing on the sideline on Sunday, ESPN reported. Brent is on the reserve non-football injury list. ESPN said Garrett didn't know Brent would be on the sideline until pregame warmups. The team was criticized during the TV broadcast for allowing Brent on the sideline.
REDSKINS: Coach Mike Shanahan said he's waiting for word from doctors before declaring quarterback Robert Griffin III ready to return. The rookie missed Sunday's game with a sprained ligament in his right knee. … The league suspended tackle Jordan Black four games for violating its policy on performance-enhancing substances.
SEAHAWKS: ESPN reported cornerback Richard Sherman will have an appeal Friday regarding his positive test for a banned substance. … Rookie safety Winston Guy was reinstated from the suspended list after missing four games.