FOXBORO, Mass. (AP) -- The Patriots gave up a touchdown at home
for the first time in five games. Their unbeaten streak is still
New England beat Jacksonville 27-13 on a snowy Sunday for its
10th consecutive win, even though the Jaguars became the first
visitor to reach the end zone in Foxboro in more than two months.
Question on the Jaguars: Is Kevin Johnson a viable option in this offense moving forward?
Yes. Over the last few weeks, Johnson has proven he has what it takes to become a consistent go-to guy. He's someone the Jags can rely on in third-and-short situations.
Question on the Patriots: Do you think the constant shifting at RB could hurt them in the playoffs?
No, because New England's strong suit is not their running game. The Patriots put the ball in Tom Brady's hands and enable him to throw short passes that offset the dependency on the run. They worked that offense in their Super Bowl XXVI run, and they've been consistently working it this year as well. So, it really doesn't matter if they've got one feature back. As long as Brady has the ball in crunch time, the Pats will have the opportunity to win games.
Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.
"We are a very prideful defensive unit," Patriots linebacker
Ted Johnson said. "We may not be perfect, but we're pretty good."
The Patriots (12-2) are 7-0 at home and extended their club
record for consecutive victories overall. They also pushed their
streak to 19 quarters without giving up a touchdown in Foxboro
before Byron Leftwich threw a 27-yard scoring pass to Kevin Johnson
with 3:22 left.
That throw in the snow merely reduced the Patriots' 21-point
lead and kept them from becoming the first team since the 1932
champion Chicago Bears to play five straight home games without
allowing a touchdown.
They'll have to settle for tying the four-game streak of the
1938 New York Giants, who also won the championship.
"They just don't make mistakes and that's why they have the
record they do," said Fred Taylor, who managed just 57 yards on 16
carries for Jacksonville.
Steve McNair scored on a 1-yard run with 4:10 left in New
England's 38-30 win over Tennessee on Oct. 5, the last touchdown
the Patriots yielded at home before Sunday.
New England entered the game as the AFC East champion.
Jacksonville (4-10) had rebounded well from a 1-7 start and had
allowed just 33 points in its previous four games. But it fell to
0-7 on the road.
For the second straight week, an opponent from Florida saw snow
in Foxboro. A week earlier, the Patriots clinched the division
title with a 12-0 win over Miami after 28 inches of snow had fallen
in the area. It stopped midway through the second quarter.
On Sunday, the snow began early in the third quarter and covered
the field by the end of the game.
"We had the lead when it really started getting bad and it
makes it tougher to throw the ball and hang on to the ball,"
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said.
It took the Patriots less than six minutes to go ahead, on a
27-yard reception by Daniel Graham, one of Brady's two scoring
passes. Brady completed all six passes on that 66-yard series, the
first of the game.
Jacksonville got inside the New England 10-yard line on its
first two possessions, but managed just two field goals by Seth
Marler, covering 24 and 23 yards.
"When you play a team as good as they are, you're not going to
get many opportunities," Leftwich said, "so you better take
advantage of the ones you've got."
"I was so happy and excited," said Brown, who led New England
in catches last year but missed the last four games with a leg
injury. "It felt like forever since I caught a ball in a game."
The Jaguars' first offensive play was a 67-yard completion to
the Patriots 9 from Leftwich to Jimmy Smith.
"That was just one play," Jimmy Smith said. "You make your
statement over the course of the ballgame."
On their next series, Leftwich completed all four passes for 47
But New England stopped Jacksonville at the 5 both times before
Marler's field goals.
"In the red zone, there's a sense of urgency," Patriots
linebacker Tedy Bruschi said. "Maybe it's because we feel we're
running out of room, so we need to focus that much harder."
Adam Vinatieri kicked field goals of 22 and 31 yards as the
Patriots led 13-6 at halftime.
The Patriots had won their previous two home games, against
Dallas and Miami, 12-0, and had 10 straight shutout quarters before
Marler's field goal with 7:41 gone in the first quarter.
Brady completed 22 of 34 passes for 228 yards and Leftwich went
21-for-40 for 288 yards.<
^Notes:@Brady completed 12 of his first 13 passes. ... Smith's
67-yard catch made him the 18th player in NFL history to gain more
than 10,000 yards receiving. That boosted his total to 10,037 and
he finished the game with 10,043. ... Mike Peterson's 14 tackles
gave him a team-leading 142 for Jacksonville, an average of more
than 10 per game. ... For the first time this season, New England
scored on its opening possession.