Sunday, December 27, 2009
Rapid Reaction: Patriots 35, Jaguars 7
By Tim Graham
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots might have pulled back on the freeway after spending a few weeks on the rumble strip.
The Patriots dominated the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, cruising to a 35-7 victory in Gillette Stadium to claim their seventh AFC East title under Bill Belichick.
It was the Patriots' second straight complete performance, but last week's came against the Buffalo Bills. The Jaguars went into Sunday a playoff contender, and the Patriots smacked them down.
The Patriots needed to win one of their last two games to clinch the division and left no doubt. Laurence Maroney fumbled at the goal line on their opening possession, but the Patriots still took a 28-0 lead into halftime.
The performance will help them get past what transpired in November and early December, when they lost three out of four games and opened the door for the Miami Dolphins to knock them off their perch.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady completed 23 of 26 attempts for 267 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. Randy Moss heard the crowd chant his name after he scored his third touchdown. Wes Welker padded his NFL receptions lead with 13 catches for 138 yards.
Sammy Morris ran 11 times for 97 yards and a touchdown.
And the Patriots' defense held the Jaguars without a point until the fourth quarter.
Other than that, the Patriots weren't that good.