Patriots coach Bill Belichick praised the toughness of left guard Logan Mankins, who left Sunday’s regular season finale with what appeared to be a significant ankle injury but was back on the field is reporting that Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is expected to be on the short list of candidates (along with former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt) for the head coaching vacancy in Cleveland, where the Brown

FOXBORO -- I've seen enough. These Patriots are Super Bowl caliber.



Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show on Monday morning, a day after the Pats clinched the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs with a 34-20 victory over the Bills. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

FOXBORO -- Aqib Talib couldn’t stop smiling. 

FOXBORO — The NFL playoff schedule has been released, and with the Patriots holding the No. 2 seed, they have earned a first-round bye and will host a divisional round game Saturday, Jan.11, at 8:15 p.m. on CBS. The Patriots’ opponent is dependent on next weekend’s Wild Card games, but it will be either the Colts, Chiefs or Bengals.

FOXBORO — There were only two certainties Sunday: The driving rain and the driving legs of LeGarrette Blount.

Blount established a new Patriots franchise record with 334 all-purpose yards, rushing for 189 yards and two touchdowns while returning two key kicks 145 yards to lead the Patriots to a 34-20 win over the Bills at waterlogged Gillette Stadium.

FOXBORO — The Patriots put the capper on the 2013 regular season and clinched the second seed in the AFC playoffs with a 34-20 win over the Bills Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

New England ends the regular season with a 12-4 mark, and will have wild card weekend off as they prepare to host a divisional playoff game the following weekend at Gillette.

FOXBORO — In a season already marred by season-ending injuries to five starters, the Patriots watched their Pro Bowl left guard Logan Mankins helped off the field with an ankle injury. The Patriots listed his return as questionable. Just two series later, Mankins was back on the field.

FOXBORO — The Patriots will have to earn their first-round bye.

The Bengals beat the Ravens, 34-17, in Cincinnati and the Colts beat the Jaguars, 30-10, at Indianapolis. Those two results mean the Patriots will have to beat the Bills to earn a weekend off when the playoffs begin next weekend.