Jets bench Hackenberg, end season with 26-6 loss to Patriots

2017 patriots

While the level of competition is a significant part of the analysis, the Patriots' solid results in the seven-DB package is a boost of sorts for the team leading into the playoffs.

NFL Sunday Ticket is available too, and you don't even need a satellite dish.

Former running back Jahad Thomas (left) will be on the New York Jets' active roster for their 2017 regular-season finale against the New England Patriots on Sunday.

But nothing about this week, or Sunday in particular, was ordinary. Only the playoff game against Tennessee was colder.

Tom Brady struggled in the cold, completing just 18-of-37 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns for the Patriots, who clinched their seventh 13-win season, good for second all-time behind the San Francisco 49ers, who have nine 13-win seasons. I mean, we're 13-3.

Meanwhile, in New England, the train just keeps a-rolling. And running back Dion Lewis continued his unlikely late-season renaissance as a feature back. Now that's just good Special Teams! He played the entire game while former second-round pick Christian Hackenberg, wearing a green overcoat, looked on from the sideline. They love the sport and grow to hate everything that goes along with it. Harrison got the opposite from the Steelers, and according to his account, the Steelers kept promising him playing time that never came.

"I think us being in that environment kind of prepares you mentally and physically for when it comes Sunday", he said. So get your stuff on and be ready.' We were out there Thursday and it was like 4 degrees and negative-6 [wind chill] for an hour and half. Between his ability to gain yards after contact, to elude would-be tacklers, and to read defenses, Lewis is a lethal multi-purpose threat that stands to become even more risky when the returns of James White and Rex Burkhead allow Josh McDaniels to deploy him in situations that are more specifically suited to his skills (than to those of a traditional every down back). Once again he was up to the task.

"I know it", he said. "I like having the ball".

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"Don't get me wrong", he said, "it was cold as hell". The fourth win came over the defending champion Seahawks, coached by Carroll, on the final play. Before the game, Bill Belichick walked out along the field in shorts and a T-shirt, and also reportedly had large thermostats installed along the Jets tunnel.

But hey, they will still finish with a better record than the Giants!

"It's a great way to end the year", said Tom Brady. I think that is stupidity, but to each his own.

The Patriots (12-3) know what's at stake for them. "So there's a lot of guys, like Brandin Cooks, Danny [Amendola], they played a lot of football this year and have been out there for a lot of snaps".

The Pittsburgh Steelers also emerged a 28-24 victor over the Cleveland Browns to finish with an identical 13-3 mark, but the Patriots clinched the top seed due to the head-to-head tiebreaker.

That is a risk Bill Belichick has taken in the past and a risk worth taken now, especially if Harrison continues to display the type of hard work and professionalism he has so far.

Next week they can enjoy the bye week.

With the top spot in the AFC on the line, the Patriots will run home with this one.

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