Patriots

Jaguars say beating Patriots feels 'like we won a Super Bowl, man'

Jaguars say beating Patriots feels 'like we won a Super Bowl, man'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- When the Jaguars got back to their locker room on Sunday night after beating the Patriots, "DU-VAL" chants chasing them down the tunnel, there was a celebration unlike any they've had in years.

"It kind of felt like we won a Super Bowl, man," safety Tashaun Gipson said. "I won't even kid you. It was that type of atmosphere and environment. With the upper management. The coaches. The players. It was just a happy time. It was a happy time. I'm not trying to say that guys put too much into this game, but it was a great win."

Clearly, for some if not most in the room, the 31-20 victory, which they felt avenged last season's AFC Championship Game loss to New England, served as a passing of the torch of sorts. It's September, just two weeks into the regular season, but the Jaguars poured a lot into the matchup with Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and the Patriots.

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For Dante Fowler, the victory told the Jaguars that they were the best team in the conference.
 
"Yes, sir," he said. "And we really believe that as well. We really believe that the way we work, the work we put in, how Coach [Doug] Marrone and Coach [Tom] Coughlin trained us and trained our minds mentally, games be easy on Sundays, honestly."

"This meant everything" Gipson said. "I think a lot of people, myself included, you want to look at it as, 'Hey, it's not a revenge game.' But a win against them felt so good. Did it feel better than the New York Giants win? Absolutely. And I'd be the first one to tell you, man. Lotta people probably say no. But absolutely it did. Not because of last year but because of the momentum that's going to catapult us moving forward. It's huge."

Calais Campbell, in his 11th season, with experience in five postseasons, tried to temper expectations when asked about things like playoff tiebreakers in the moments soon after the game. 

"It was just a regular game for me," he said. "It was just, get win No. 2 against an AFC opponent, which is always crucial."

But it felt like Campbell was on an island. Gipson is in his seventh season, and while he acknowledged there was a long way to go, after beating the Patriots he had no issues pointing out exactly where the Jaguars wanted to go. 

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It was about 350 miles north, 16 games (at least) and five months away. 

"People come in here, man, and you could kind of sense how tight it was around here this week," Gipson said. "Patriots are coming in. Lots of compliments. Lots and lots of compliments. I think we got kind of tired of hearing how good Gronk was, how good Tom Brady was. And make no mistake, those guys are going to be Hall of Fame players. Obviously. But a win like this against this kind of opponent, it was huge for this team . . . 

"We feel like, OK, we beat the Patriots. Let's get this thing rolling. Win the games we win, and we'll be in Atlanta" -- for Super Bowl 53 -- "hopefully."

NBC Sports Boston's Tom Giles contributed to this report

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Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes leaves game vs. Broncos with knee injury

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes leaves game vs. Broncos with knee injury

The Kansas City Chiefs could be without their star quarterback for an extended period of time.

Patrick Mahomes left Thursday night's game vs. the Denver Broncos with a right knee injury. The 2018 NFL MVP injured himself attempting a QB sneak in the second quarter and was ruled out for the game shortly thereafter.

Mahomes was able to walk off the field under his own power, but this looks like it could be a serious injury for the 24-year-old. If that's the case, the Patriots' path to another AFC title just got infinitely easier.

Mahomes will undergo an MRI on Friday.

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Pro Football Focus ranks Patriots defense 'far and away' the best in the NFL

Pro Football Focus ranks Patriots defense 'far and away' the best in the NFL

It's safe to say that probably the only reason the Patriots are 6-0 heading into a Monday Night Football showdown with the Jets is their defense. 

With its continuity, smart players that give the coaching staff an ability to adjust on the fly and supreme talent in the secondary, the New England defense has stifled every opponent it has gone up against. 

Of course, the fact that the Patriots have gone up against a group of quarterbacks consisting of Luke Falk, Colt McCoy, Daniel Jones and Ryan Fitzpatrick, but you can only play the teams on your schedule. And the Pats have slowed down their opponent's offenses at a historic rate. So much so, that Pro Football Focus ranked them the NFL's top defense by a wide margin. 

The Patriots have been far and away the best defense in the NFL this season, registering an EPA allowed per play of nearly -0.5. Their defensive success can largely be attributed to their secondary, which has been playing outstanding football, granted against some of the most advantageous quarterback matchups a team could possibly have. They are the only team to allow fewer than six yards per targeted attempt (5.8), the only team to allow a passer rating below 65.0 on targeted passes (46.1), and their 14 interceptions are five more than any other team. It will be interesting to see them compete with a competent passing attack, but they have all the makings of a dominant secondary and defense overall.

With their next four games coming against Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson and Carson Wentz, the Patriots defense will finally be appropriately put to the test. 

With Tom Brady's offense continued struggles to move the ball, New England's defense might have to play better than they have already, which might just be too much to ask. 

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