Ageless Brady leads hot Patriots team into playoffs
NEW ENGLAND (14-2)
OFFENSE - OVERALL (4), RUSH (7), PASS (4)
DEFENSE - OVERALL (8), RUSH (3), PASS (12)
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICAL LEADERS
PASSING - Tom Brady 3,554 yards, 28 TDs, 2 INTs
RUSHING - LeGarrette Blount 1,161 yards, 18 TDs
RECEIVING - Julian Edelman 98 catches, 1,106 yards, 3 TDs; Martellus Bennett 55, 701 yards, 7
INTERCEPTIONS - Malcolm Butler 4
SACKS - Trey Flowers 7; Jabaal Sheard 5; Chris Long, 4
Patriots completely dominated in 27-16 win at Pittsburgh. Brady completed 19 of 26 for 222 yards and two touchdowns to improve to 9-2 against Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger did not play for Pittsburgh.
In final game of Brady's four-game ''Deflategate'' suspension, New England's offense was stagnant in 16-0 home defeat to Bills. Third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett struggled one week after injuring right thumb. Patriots were blanked at home for first time since 6-0 loss to Jets in 1993.
THEY CAN WIN IT ALL IF ...
Brady continues to play with exceptional efficiency he has shown so far. But he will also need support from defense that started slowly, yet enters playoffs allowing NFL-low 15.6 points per game.
THEY CAN LOSE FIRST GAME IF ...
Offensive line takes step backward. Not only has it done better job protecting Brady, it has opened lanes for Blount to produce career-best numbers.
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