NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

December 18, 2012

Patriots shake loss to 49ers, focus on Jaguars

FOXBOROUGH — The New England Patriots claim they don’t think about playoff seeding. They say the only games they focus on are the next one or two. Win and their postseason position will take care of itself.

Winning their remaining two regular-season games, though, may not help this time around. Not after Sunday night’s 41-34 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

The Patriots (10-4) went into it in second place in the AFC and in strong position to snare one of two conference byes. They came out in third place with the likely prospect of having to play a wild-card game. After that — should they win and move on — a road game in the divisional round might be next. Not easy.

Not that it’s on their minds, though.

“I’m not even thinking about the playoffs right now,” linebacker Rob Ninkovich said yesterday. “I’m just focusing on the next two games.”

It was a day-after-game reality the Patriots don’t face very often — coping with a loss.

They had won seven straight since losing 24-23 at the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 14. They had a streak of 20 consecutive home victories in December, dating back to 2002, snapped. And they had won 21 games in a row in the second half of the schedule starting at the midpoint in 2010.

But, for coach Bill Belichick, yesterday was just another day to wrap up the Patriots’ latest effort and look ahead to the next one.

“I’d say we pretty much do the same thing we always do,” he said. “We’ll look and talk about the game. We’ll talk about the things that we did right and reinforce those. We’ll talk about the things we did wrong and correct those. Once that’s over with, we’ll put this game to rest and move on to Jacksonville.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Tiger Woods: 1 on 1 3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox Franklin talks leaving Vandy Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX Michael Jordan OK With LeBron James Wearing No. 23? - @TheBuzzeronFox The Cornhuskers have gone...Loco? McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season
Special Features