BOSTON (CBS) — The New England Patriots have had a very successful 2017 campaign, but there remains work to be done.
The No. 1 seed in the AFC — and the home-field advantage through the postseason that comes with it — has not yet been secured. In order to lock down that spot, the Patriots either need to win their game against the Jets or hope for the Steelers to somehow lose at home to the 0-15 Browns.
Obviously, a Steelers loss is a rather improbable outcome, so the Patriots will enter Sunday knowing they need to take care of business against the 5-10 Jets.
It’s been a long, frigid week in New England, and the low temperatures will continue through this game. But a Patriots victory — and a 13-3 record on the year — would be enough to allow the 68,000 fans in attendance to briefly forget that they can’t feel their toes.
Here’s how the WBZ sports team sees this one playing out.
The Patriots are 15.5-point favorites on Sunday in the regular-season finale against the Jets. The Pats have a first-round bye, but they are still playing for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. So they are not taking this game lightly.
The Jets? They’re done. It’s going to be freezing, and at the end of the year, players just want to get out healthy and get the game over with.
It will be interesting to see how much newly acquired James Harrison plays. He’s hungry and fresh and would love to stick it to Pittsburgh.
Patriots 31, Jets 17
It’s going be cold and miserable on Sunday. The Pats need to jump on the Jets early and keep them down, giving them no hope.
Steve DeOssie told me that in his Jets finale, other guys were making plane reservations at halftime.
The Patriots need to stay healthy, too.
Patriots 30, Jets 10
The best thing to happen for the Pats is also probably the worst item for the Jets. New England needs to win this game for home field throughout the playoffs. So they are going to play and play hard. The Pats are going to want to finish strong.
Bryce Petty will get the start for the Jets and this will be a learning situation for him. Not exactly what the Jets need if they are trying to secure a victory.
Three things to pay attention to:
Make sure the Pats get out of this game healthy. It won’t be a happy new year if the Pats start the playoffs with glaring injures.
Let’s see how much work James Harrison gets. The Pats have needed defensive end help all year. Maybe James can be a short-term solution.
Third: get the win.
Kenny Britt and Phillip Dorsett have touchdowns in this one. Happy new year, everyone!
Patriots 34, Jets 10
The Patriots close out their regular season on Sunday, and WBZ-TV has you covered, beginning with Patriots GameDay at 11:30 a.m. The Jets-Patriots game will air on WBZ at 1 p.m., with Patriots 5th Quarter airing on MyTV38 immediately after the game.