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Patriots look good in AFC playoff race

What was supposed to be a transitional season in Foxborough is turning into a very good one.  

What was supposed to be a transitional season in Foxborough is turning into a very good one.

After a long Thanksgiving weekend of football, the Patriots are tied for the best record in the NFL.

New England is even with the New York Jets and the Atlanta Falcons atop the league at 9-2.

All won this weekend — the Pats (45-24 over Detroit) and the Jets (26-10 over Cincinnati) on Thanksgiving, followed by Atlanta (20-17 over Green Bay) yesterday.

A number of teams follow at 8-3, including the Saints and Steelers. The seven-win ranks include the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers.

But little matters around these parts except New England’s playoff hopes. And they’re looking just fine.

The winner of Monday night’s Patriots-Jets blockbuster at Gillette Stadium will have a stranglehold on the AFC East — as well as probably a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Either way, it’s hard to imagine either New England or New York going wanting for postseason football this year.

The bulk of the pack of AFC playoff hopefuls is right around the .500 mark through 11 games. It’s looking most likely the East and North will produce two playoff teams apiece. That would leave room for just the division winners from the South and West.

And all of those contenders would need one heck of a hot streak to gain on the Pats.

 
 
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