FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Bill Belichick spent more time during the weekend studying Jacksonville than his other possible playoff opponents.
It was time well spent.
"We've kind of been spending, I would say, of the three possible opponents, most of our time on Jacksonville," the Patriots coach said Sunday night, "given the fact that we played Pittsburgh a month ago and we played Tennessee earlier in the season."
New England beat Tennessee in a preseason game and Pittsburgh in Week 13.
The Patriots, the only team in NFL history with a 16-0 regular-season record, drew a bye in the first playoff weekend.
With two days off, their players watched and waited to see who their first opponent would be -- the lowest remaining seed after Saturday's game between No. 4 Pittsburgh and No. 5 Jacksonville and Sunday's game between No. 3 San Diego and No. 6 Tennessee.
Jacksonville and San Diego won.
"He looks pretty good to me," Belichick said in a conference call about 30 minutes after San Diego's game ended. "He's a hard guy to get down in the pocket. He throws the ball accurately down the field, intermediate throws."
Last season, the Patriots won at Jacksonville 24-21 in their 15th game to clinch their fourth consecutive AFC East title.
"They're a different team than we played down there last year, starting with Fred Taylor," Belichick said. "We didn't see him last year."
Taylor missed the game with a hamstring injury. Now he and Maurice Jones-Drew form the toughest running duo the Patriots will have faced all season.
On Saturday, Jones-Drew scored on a 43-yard pass play and a 10-yard run. He also returned a kickoff 96 yards to set up Taylor's 1-yard scoring run.
"The (Jaguars) are very physical," Belichick said. "Any team that runs the ball as well as they do and stops the run as well as they do, they're able to do a real good job on the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball."
Their ability to stop the run should be a major factor in determining if they remain undefeated.
"We had a tough game with them down there last year without Fred Taylor," Belichick said. "I think Fred Taylor is one of the best backs in the league. He's a tremendous football player (with) speed like Jones-Drew that can take it the distance, as well as pound out the tough yardage."
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