FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — With a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, and a loss by either the Las Vegas Raiders or Miami Dolphins, the New England Patriots will clinch a spot in the post season.
The Pats enter week 17 on a two game losing streak, first to the Indianapolis Colts, then last week to the Buffalo Bills, dropping to 2nd place in the AFC East.
However, the Patriots are hosting the league worst 2-13 Jaguars this week, who have rookie QB Trevor Lawrence under center.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, has dominated rookie quarterbacks throughout his career. He will have a shot against another this weekend in the 2021 first overall draft pick.
“Looks like a really good prospect,” Belichick said Lawrence.
“I’ve known Trevor [Lawrence] going back to high school, some camps, stuff like that. He is a great quarterback,” said Patriots quarterback Mac Jones.
The Patriots, on a two-game skid, are playing for their playoff lives. Meanwhile, the Jaguars are on pace for the top draft pick for the second-straight year.
“Our 100 percent focus is on this week and how we can come out, come to practice, fix the issues that we’ve had, try to get better,” Jones said.
“We know what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to stop talking about it and just do it,” said cornerback JC Jackson.
“We know we’re capable of playing better and that’s definitely frustrating when you don’t do that for two weeks in a row,” said safety Devin McCourty.
“It’s no more of the cliché lines. It’s time to work. These last games mean a lot to us,” said linebacker Dont’a Hightower.
The Patriots had a number of players on the injury report this week.
Running back Rhamondre Stevenson returned from the COVID-19/Reserve list. Linebacker Harvey Langi and defensive end Deatrich Wise were also removed from the list.
The Patriots still have six players on the COVID-19/Reserve list. Those players include linebackers Matthew Judon, Josh Uche and Ja’Whaun Bentley, quarterback Brian Hoyer, and Brandon King.