Patriots bank on experience

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonThe Patriots are taking the Jaguars very seriously, especially with quarterback Byron Leftwich returning for the playoffs after missing six games with a broken left ankle. He could be rusty. He also could be eager to go. “The way I look at it, he’s going to come in here that much rested,” New England linebacker Monty Beisel said. “He’s going to be amped up.” The last time the Jaguars were in a playoff game, Mark Brunell was the quarterback and they lost to Tennessee 33-14 in the AFC championship game after the 1999 season. Brady, meanwhile, is 9-0 in the playoffs with two Super Bowl MVP awards and a good sense of perspective. Being 9-0 “doesn’t really matter,” he said. “It’s how we play this week against Jacksonville. That’s the only thing that matters.” None of that seems to matter to the Jaguars. “We are not ecstatic that we are in the playoffs,” defensive end Paul Spicer said. “We are playing to win.” FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots have a big edge in postseason experience over Jacksonville by winning three Super Bowls since the Jaguars last reached the playoffs. The Patriots also will be playing at home with some cold temperatures forecast for tonight’s wild-card playoff game. And, of course, there’s Tom Brady at quarterback, Bill Belichick as coach and oddsmakers making them huge favorites. center_img Then how about the chilly temperatures forecast for the game? “I really don’t think that it’s going to affect anything,” Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel said. “It’s not like we’re standing in 80-degree weather and they’re standing in the cold.” Certainly, then, having the fans behind them should help the Patriots in a stadium where they won 25 of their past 28 games? But the Jaguars were 6-2 on the road this year, and Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour criticized New England fans this season for not being loud enough. He also knows relying too much on the past won’t help. “It’s definitely different from the teams we have had in the past,” he said. “It’s not that we are better or worse, it’s just a different team.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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