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Patriots enjoy a Christmas Eve laugher against Jets

The New York Jets haven't been as successful as expected and there is precedent that change could be coming to the organization.

All the Patriots want for Christmas is to get homefield advantage throughout the AFC playoffs and they did their part in getting it against the Jets on Saturday afternoon.

The Patriots humiliated their visitors by a 41-3 count to improve to 13-2 on the season and take a step closer to that No. 1 seed in the conference. If the Raiders lose to the Colts later on Saturday, Week 17 will hold no playoff implications for the Patriots.

We’ll see how they handle that in terms of resting players, but the score on Saturday meant that they were able to get some of their key players a bit of extra time off the field already. Tom Brady played three quarters and threw three touchdown passes before giving way to Jimmy Garoppolo for the rest of the afternoon. LeGarrette Blount ran for two touchdowns, giving him 17 on the season, and the offense didn’t have to do anything too fancy to build a huge lead.

The defense helped on that front by forcing four turnovers. Cornerback Malcolm Butler had two interceptions and a fumble recovery to lead the way, but everyone on that side of the ball showed well on a day when linebacker Dont’a Hightower didn’t play because of a knee injury.

The Patriots close out the regular season against the Dolphins, whose playoff fate remains unresolved as they head to overtime with the Bills. A win alone won’t get Miami in the tournament, so it probably makes both teams fans of the Colts on Saturday as an undermanned New England might make life easier for the Dolphins.

Having said that, they’d surely prefer to see the Jets than any Patriots roster. The Jets have now lost three of their last four games by margins of 31, 21 and 38 points and they only got on the board this week by kicking a field goal once they were already down 41 points in the fourth quarter.

They lost quarterback Bryce Petty to a left shoulder injury, although he had only completed a pass to Butler by the time he left, and defensive lineman Leonard Williams left with a chest injury but injuries alone can’t explain away the dreadful level of performance the Jets are putting forth on a weekly basis. How that impacts coach Todd Bowles will be one of the storylines as the regular season comes to a close for the 4-10 team.