Patriots hold off Jaguars, escape with win

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Tom Brady overcame a rough start by throwing two touchdown passes, and the playoff-bound New England Patriots held on to beat the woeful Jacksonville Jaguars 23-16 Sunday.

Brady threw two interceptions in the first quarter, the second one helping the Jaguars (2-13) build a 10-0 lead.

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.

He hooked up with Wes Welker for a 2-yard score on the second play of the fourth quarter, putting the Patriots (11-4) ahead 23-13 -- what seemed like plenty of cushion against the offensively challenged Jaguars.

But Jacksonville had two chances to tie things in the closing minutes.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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