, Newburyport, MA

December 31, 2013

Belichick studies Pats' possible playoff opponents

AP Sports Writer

---- — FOXBOROUGH — Bill Belichick doesn’t have much time to rest during the Patriots bye week. He’ll keep busy studying three potential opponents.

New England’s coach won’t know until late Sunday afternoon who his team will play the following Saturday night at home. The possible opponents are Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Kansas City.

The Patriots (12-4) clinched the No. 2 seed in the AFC and a first-round bye with a 34-20 win over the Buffalo Bills on a rainy Sunday. LeGarrette Blount set a franchise record with 334 all-purpose yards by rushing for 189 and returning two kickoffs for 145.

New England snared a bye for the eighth time in Belichick’s 14 seasons as coach and is in the playoffs for the 11th time in that span.