Patriots know Bill Belichick won’t accept snowstorm as excuse for tardiness
The Patriots (13-3) have homefield advantage throughout the AFC playoffs and earned a first-round bye. That doesn’t mean the Patriots were taking it easy as they wait to find out whether they’ll play host to the Bills, Titans or Chiefs.
Bills rookie CB Tre’Davious White had four interceptions this season, the most by a Buffalo rookie since Jairus Byrd’s nine in ’09.
Jacksonville rookie WR Keelan Cole is averaging 17.8 yards per reception, good for the second-highest average in the NFL. It is the highest yards per catch average in a single season in Jaguars history (minimum 40 receptions).
Haley, 50, who has been the Steelers’ offensive coordinator since 2012, is gearing up for Pittsburgh’s playoff push. The Post-Gazette also reported that Haley was not in the office Tuesday, but is expected to rejoin the team later this week.
Pittsburgh, off until Jan. 14 after earning a first-round playoff bye, will play the highest AFC seed from the wild-card round.
David Steele: As hard as it is to ignore recency bias, keep in mind that while the Jaguars lost their last two games in surprising fashion, that was the first time they lost consecutive games all season, and before that they were threatening the Steelers and Patriots for a first-round bye. Also, the Jaguars were leading the NFL in multiple defensive categories, and Bortles had gone on the best three-game stretch of his four-year career (903 yards, seven touchdowns, no interceptions).
Count on that defense to rediscover itself, particularly against a Bills offense that will either be missing LeSean McCoy, or have a hobbled McCoy. The Bills had the fourth-fewest total yards in the NFL, and McCoy accounted for more than 31 percent of them via rushing and receiving. The Bills’ offensive line was playing its best at the end of the season, but handling Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson and the rest of the Jacksonville front seven is a tall task.