Red Zone Report: Pats Can Clinch First-Round Bye With Win Over Jets

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(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- The Patriots stand to clinch a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the divisional round with a win over the Jets this Sunday. They haven't lost to Gang Green in the regular season with Tom Brady under center since 2006--and New York stinks--so there isn't much of a reason to be worried about, though there are still many issues facing the team. In this week's Red Zone Report, WBZ NewsRadio's Adam Kaufman and The Boston Globe's Ben Volin go over a few of them.

If the Patriots win, they'll clinch their eighth season undefeated at home, breaking a tie with Minnesota for the most in NFL history. Why is the team so different in Foxboro versus on the road?

"I think a lot of it has to do with playing in front of the crowd noise," Volin said. "The road environment really affects the offense, and the Patriots' offense hasn't been very good this year. When it's loud and you're in the opposing stadium, you have to go to a silent snap count. You don't have maybe as many tricks in your playbook as you would at home. It requires a lot more mental toughness. We saw it in Pittsburgh where they committed 16 penalties overall, two of them were declined, and a bunch of them were pre-snap penalties."

Tom Brady hasn't looked right this year. Is he showing his age, or is the problem the talent around him?

"Probably a little bit of both," Volin said. "It can't all be the talent around him. Hogan I think is getting open at times, but Brady's just not delivering the ball. The offensive line has played pretty well and protected Brady this year. I don't think he's falling off a cliff by any stretch--this isn't Peyton Manning at the end of his career when he can barely throw the ball, and this isn't Brett Favre where he threw 11 touchdowns against 19 picks in his last season--Brady's still put together some good numbers this year, just clearly not what we're used to seeing from him."

Volin and Kaufman also discuss whether or not Rob Gronkowski will retire after this playoff run, the Patriots' predictable offense, the chances of the Pats getting the 1-seed, predictions for Sunday's game, and more. Listen to the full interview below.

WBZ NewsRadio's Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) reports

 

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