FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Having failed in New Jersey, the New England Patriots head to Miami this weekend again looking to wrap up the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
“I think this game’s really important for us because it’s a great goal for us, to be the No. 1 seed,” Tom Brady said Wednesday during his weekly media session. “A lot goes into that, a lot of offseason work by a lot of players and coaches, the whole organization to get to this point.
“There’s only one team that gets the No. 1 seed and it’s great if you’re that team because it means you’ve done things better than anybody else over the course of the season. We’ve put ourselves in a good position and hopefully we can go finish strong.”
The Patriots, besieged by injuries, lost 26-20 to the New York Jets in overtime last Sunday, at least delaying the clinching of the top seed. The franchise has won and lost as a No. 1 and has won it all twice as a No. 2.
“I think it’s better to win this game than to lose this game,” Brady said. “You obviously love to always play at home (in the postseason) just because communication’s so important. But whoever wins in the playoffs is the team that’s plays the best on that day. Not whether home or away. It’s going to be who plays the best.”
Special teams captain Matthew Slater, the man caught in the middle of the coin-flip flap that followed Sunday’s regulation, agreed with Brady.
“I think it’s something that we set out this season and had our sights set on it,” he said. “For us as a football team we feel very confident playing at home, especially with our crowd. We know this is a tough place to come in and for teams to beat us, so it’s important to us.”
Asked about the prospect of playing all AFC postseason games at Gillette Stadium, Slater smiled and said: “I think we’d enjoy that. I definitely think we’d enjoy that.”
NOTES: Another name joins the Patriots’ ever-growing injury list, with defensive end Rob Ninkovich missing practice Wednesday because of an ailing shin. Injured wide receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola were listed with “limited participation.” … With their stadium taken over by the NHL’s Winter Classic, the Patriots will depart for Florida after practice Thursday and will practice at Florida Atlantic University on Friday. … The Patriots, second in the NFL with 48 sacks (Denver has 49), have tied the team record for sacks under Bill Belichick with one game left. … New England re-signed defensive lineman Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, released cornerback Troy Hill, and re-signed running back Joey Iosefa to the practice squad.
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