Patriots tame Jaguars to remain on perfect track
By Jason Szep
FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts (Reuters) - The New England Patriots's perfect season continued with a 31-20 divisional playoff victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday.
After winning all 16 of their regular season games, the Patriots now move on to the AFC title game next week where they will host the winner of Sunday's divisional playoff between Indianapolis and San Diego.
Once again, quarterback Tom Brady provided a performance of composure and class for New England, completing 26-of-28 passes.
Brady threw three touchdowns for 262 yards but his usual outlet -- wide receiver Randy Moss played a decoy role -- taking only one catch throughout the game as Brady threw to eight different receivers.
The Patriots are now two wins away from equaling the Miami Dolphins record from 1972 of producing a 100 percent regular season and then going on to win the Super Bowl.
The Jaguars made a promising start -- Brady was sacked by John Henderson in the opening play and then Matt Jones received an eight-yard pass from quarterback David Garrard to put the visitors ahead in the 11th minute.
Touchdowns from Benjamin Watson and Laurence Maroney put the Pats in front before a superb catch by Ernest Wilford on a six-yard pass by Garrad finished off a 95-yard drive in style to bring the scores level at 14-14.
However, inspired by their ice-cool quarterback, New England took charge of the game with Brady picking out Wes Welker and then Watson again as the home side took a firm grip in the third quarter.
The Jaguars could only manage two field goals as a response in the second half.
The Patriots have won nine consecutive home playoff games and have not lost at home in the post-season since December 31, 1978.
(Writing by Simon Evans; editing by John O'Brien)