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LeGarrette Blount leads New England Patriots to bye

LeGarrette Blount is the face of this weird, surprisingly effective New England Patriots season. No one is sure how Blount gets it done, but it's hard to argue with the results.

The New England Patriots earned a playoff bye for a record-tying fourth consecutive season on Sunday with a 34-20 victory over the Buffalo Bills in a driving rainstorm in Foxborough.

1. The Patriots rushed for 267 yards, with 189 by Blount and 74 more from Stevan Ridley. Blount also returned two kicks for 145 yards. New England's rushing attack has been the quiet reason that such a flawed team could win 12 games.

2. New England's defense gave up 393 yards to an offense led by Thad Lewis, who averaged 8.5 yards per attempt. The Patriots' secondary got worse throughout the season, and ended on a down note overall. This is a team greater than the sum of its parts, but the defense has too many holes.

3. Julian Edelman went over 100 catches and 1,000 yards. Not bad for our Making the Leap choice before the season.

4. The Patriots have not lost a game at home all season. They will host Cincinnati, Indianapolis or Kansas City in the Divisional Round. A great offense should slice through this Patriots' defense, but none of those teams have great offenses.

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