JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Coming off consecutive prime-time games at home and facing one of the NFL's worst teams on the road, the New England Patriots were poised for a letdown.
They surely didn't expect a near meltdown.
But the Jaguars faded in the third quarter for the fourth consecutive week, lost for the 11th time in the last 12 games and set a franchise record for losses in a season.
Brady had a lot to do with the home team's latest setback, finding his rhythm after a sluggish start and picking apart Jacksonville's defense.
"It's a bad feeling, obviously," Potter said. "It puts our team in a bad situation there. It's not the one play that cost us the game."
Potter said he had trouble hearing the snap count because thousands of Patriots fans scoped up tickets and helped give Jacksonville its biggest home crowd since 2004.
"It was really loud, which you don't usually expect at home," Potter said.
Coach Mike Mularkey, though, blamed the officials for failing to recognize and penalize New England for yelling out cadence during a hard shift.
"That was disappointing because that was brought up to the officials before the game," Mularkey said. "That was addressed. We practiced it. We practiced it the whole week with those guys shifting with the cadence. ... Obviously they didn't call it and we jumped. Very frustrating."
"A win is a win, but we know we've got to play better no matter what," Patriots safety Devin McCourty said. "It's better to come out here when you're not at your best and get a win. I think this team really understands it's all about us. We've got to play our best each week. It's disappointing knowing that we didn't play as good as we could."
New England avoided consecutive losses in December for the first time since 2002.
Brady entered the game having thrown for 1,207 yards, with 13 touchdowns and no interceptions, in five wins against the Jaguars. His string of success ended with his first pass, though.
Ridley tipped the ball down the sideline, and safety Chris Prosinski picked it off for his first interception of the season. Jacksonville moved the ball, but settled for a field goal.
And that was the story of the day for Mularkey's team.
The Jaguars had the ball inside New England's 25 seven times, but came away with a touchdown and three field goals.
And not scoring touchdowns against the league's most prolific offense is hardly a formula for success.
Henne completed 29 of 51 passes for 348 yards, with a touchdown and three interceptions. His 3-yard TD pass to Justin Blackmon to open the game was Jacksonville's first touchdown on its opening possession since Oct. 9, 2011, against Cincinnati.
But the ending is all that matters for Jacksonville, which left owner Shad Khan with decisions to make about Mularkey and general manager Gene Smith.
NOTES: Brady has thrown a TD pass in 47 consecutive games, tying Johnny Unitas for second on the NFL's all-time list. He trails Drew Brees by seven. ... Mularkey gave every player a baseball bat before the game with the words "violent, physical, relentless" on it as a motivational tool. ... Jaguars WR Cecil Shorts III and G Uche Nwaneri left the game with concussions.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press