Giants, Pats Head Into Playoffs

The Jets ended the season with a loss.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images

    Two of the three local teams are heading into the playoffs after the New England Patriots clinched the AFC East Title and the New York Giants clinched the NFC East title.

    New York's 31-14 victory over Dallas gave the Giants (9-7) the NFC East title and Atlanta, which earned the No. 5 seed in the conference by routing Tampa Bay 45-24 earlier in the day, will visit the Meadowlands.

    The Giants-Falcons game happens on Sunday, Jan. 8 at 1 p.m.

    "I would not want to face the New York Giants in the playoffs right now," running back Brandon Jacobs said. "I got the same feeling" as when the Giants won the Super Bowl as a wild card after the 2007 season.

    By winning every game in the second half of the season, the Patriots own home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs. Their first game will be against the lowest remaining AFC team on Saturday, Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. 

    The Patriots (13-3) earned the right to stay at home throughout the AFC playoffs after a 49-21 victory over Buffalo, which led 21-0 after the first quarter. It should be comforting to the Patriots, except that they have lost their last two home playoff games, and their last three postseason games overall.

    "It depends on how we play," three-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady said. "It's great playing at home. It's great to have a bye. But I think we have to concentrate here this week on what we need to do to play our best football in a couple weeks."

    By losing their last three games, the New York Jets won't be going to a third straight conference title game. The Jets (8-8) finished a late-season collapse with a 19-17 loss at Miami, falling out of contention.

    "We played well in spurts this season, but we weren't consistent enough," said quarterback Mark Sanchez, who was among the most inconsistent Jets. "You have to ask yourself the tough questions and clean things up for next season.

    "It doesn't feel good now, but we'll come back and be just fine."