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New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) spikes the football after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Patriots edge Jets 17-16, clinch 1st-round playoff bye

Sunday, December 21, 2014

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Tom Brady and the Patriots will be resting at home for the start of the playoffs. The only question left is whether the AFC’s road to the Super Bowl will run through New England. Jonas Gray scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter after New England intercepted Geno Smith, and the Patriots clinched a bye with a 17-16 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday. New England has earned a bye in five straight seasons, the longest streak since the current playoff format began in 1990. “We made plenty of good (plays) in the …

Playing Patriots still special for Rex Ryan, Jets

Saturday, December 20, 2014

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Rex Ryan still isn’t backing down. Sure, his future with the New York Jets appears dim. But the coach is conceding nothing, and that means he has every intention of beating the New England Patriots on Sunday. And, no, he wouldn’t take back his statement shortly after he was …

Offensive line comes together for Patriots

Friday, December 19, 2014

FOXBOROUGH (AP) — The New England offensive line, maligned through the early weeks of the season, has rebounded to do a terrific job protecting the team’s 37-year-old prime asset. Quarterback Tom Brady contributed to the team’s highlight film with a 17-yard scramble that ended in a hard hit instead of a slide last week against Miami. On Nov. 2, some Brady footwork led …

Patriots settle in for week in Southern California

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The New England Patriots settled into their home away from home on Wednesday. The Patriots practiced at the University of San Diego in preparation for Sunday night’s game against the Chargers. After losing to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, the Patriots flew to …

Philip Rivers’ December record to be tested by Patriots

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

SAN DIEGO — Philip Rivers hardly ever loses down the stretch, having amassed a 33-6 record in his career in regular-season games in December and January. Rivers and the rest of the San Diego Chargers (8-4) will be …

Patriots spend week practicing in warm San Diego

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A week in December in San Diego sounds like an ideal getaway from the cold weather for the New England Patriots. For coach Bill Belichick, it sure beats bundling up in a hoodie with a cap pulled over …

Philip Rivers, Chargers save season with win at Baltimore

Monday, December 1, 2014

SAN DIEGO — Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers saved their season and got some separation in the wild-card race with a thrilling comeback victory at Baltimore. While moving into the AFC’s No. 5 playoff spot, the …

Patriots continue road trip after loss to Packers

Monday, December 1, 2014

The New England Patriots brought the NFL’s longest winning streak this season to Green Bay. They continued their cross-country road trip without it. Their 26-21 loss to the Packers in the matchup of top title contenders Sunday makes …

Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft may testify in Aaron Hernandez trial

Monday, December 1, 2014

BOSTON — New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft are listed as possible witnesses by prosecutors in the upcoming murder trial of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. In court papers released Monday, Hernandez’s …

Rodgers, Pack hold off Brady, Pats in first matchup between star QBs

Sunday, November 30, 2014

GREEN BAY, Wis. — If this was a Super Bowl preview, with Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady in starring roles, the NFL will be thrilled. Rodgers threw for 368 yards and two touchdowns, Eddie Lacy powered for key …

Patriots-Packers could be shootout, title preview

Saturday, November 29, 2014

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Two star quarterbacks. Two championship-winning coaches. Two of the NFL’s marquee franchises. Toss in the iconic venue of Lambeau Field, and Sunday’s game between the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers shapes up …

Improving Packers defense gets test with Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski

Friday, November 28, 2014

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Micah Hyde has seen the film of New England’s Rob Gronkowski, and he is understandably impressed. The Green Bay Packers safety would be just fine if didn’t have to cover the Patriots’ 6-foot-6 behemoth …

Watch No. 12: Tom Brady vs Aaron Rodgers

Thursday, November 27, 2014

FOXBOROUGH — Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers really do have a lot in common. During this season’s first month, the star quarterbacks of the Patriots and Packers were facing questions about their teams’ slow starts. It’s no coincidence …