Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
The Patriots failed to dominate the Jaguars like I expected, but New England did escape Jacksonville with a 23-16 victory. With that being said, let's take a look at what we learned from New England's Week 16 game.
That was ugly—but a win is a win.
Heading into this week, I figured that the New England Patriots would absolutely demolish the Jacksonville Jaguars—but that obviously wasn't the case. The Jaguars hung around and made things interesting.
The Jaguars did not play like a team with two wins on the season, they played like a team that was hungry for a playoff spot.
With that being said, let's take a look at what we learned form New England's 23-16 win over Jacksonville.
1. The Patriots hopes for a playoff bye are still alive
Granted, New England no longer controls its own destiny for a playoff bye but it's still possible.
If the Texans lose out and the Patriots win out, New England will then have a playoff bye. However, if the Denver Broncos either lose against the Cleveland Browns or the Kansas City Chiefs—which is highly unlikely—then the Patriots will pick up the bye that way.
2. Chandler Jones has returned to being a play-maker
With Chandler Jones dealing with an ankle injury for the past few weeks, he simply hasn't been the same. However, Jones made some impacts against the Jaguars.
Jones might not have recorded a tackle or a sack on the day, but he consistently put pressure on Chad Henne towards the end of the game.
Hopefully Jones can keep things going heading into the playoffs.
3. Stevan Ridley bounced back nicely
After being a huge reason why the Patriots lost last week against the San Francisco 49ers, Stevan Ridley had a solid performance against the Jags.
Ridley ran for 84 yards on 18 carries while averaging 4.7 yards per-carry.
4. Tom Brady did not impress me
This might have been one of Tom Brady's worst performances this season.
Brady finished with a pitiful 73.9 quarterback rating while completing just 58.3 percent of his passes for 267 yards as well as throw two touchdowns but was picked off twice.
Brady has now thrown four interceptions in the last two games.
5. Tom Brady has thrown a lot of passes the last two games
In the last two games, Brady has thrown a total of 106 passes—which is kind of alarming.
Hopefully this wont affect Brady's arm strength heading into the playoffs, as 106 passes is a lot for two games.
Also, what ever happened to the Patriots trying to stay balanced? The Patriots have been as unbalanced as you can get the last two weeks.