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Sports

December 22, 2008

Staying Alive

After toying with Arizona, Pats still have a chance

Pats' playoff hopes

Here's what the Patriots need to happen next week to make the playoffs:

1. They must beat Buffalo.

2. They need Miami to lose to the Jets (at the Meadowlands) or Baltimore to lose to Jacksonville (in Baltimore).

Note: If Miami loses, the Patriots would be the AFC East champs and host Baltimore ... If Miami wins and Baltimore loses, the Patriots would be the No. 6 seed and play at Miami.

FOXBORO — Here's a cheer New England Patriots fans may want to perfect before next Sunday:

"J-E-T-S ... Jets! Jets! Jets!"

That's right. That irritating cheer, invented by toothless "Fireman Ed," will be all yours.

Talk about irony.

A year ago, Eric Mangini and the Jets "nearly" ruined the reputation of the man who molded his football mind, Bill Belichick, when he reported him to the NFL for illegally videotaping coaches' signals.

Now, the Patriots will be rooting for Benedict Mangini.

The Patriots could also sneak in if the Baltimore Ravens lose to visiting Jacksonville, but let's be honest, that's probably not happening.

So how are the Patriots approaching this week? In vintage Patriots fashion, of course.

"I don't care about anybody else," said Patriots linebacker Junior Seau after yesterday's 47-7 pummelling of the reeling Arizona Cardinals. "I care about Buffalo."

Oh, yes, the Patriots have to win Sunday in Buffalo, which somehow won in Denver last night (30-23). Jobs, including the head coach's, may be at stake for the Bills, so don't expect a walkover.

From Tom Brady's knee injury on Opening Day, it has been a crazy season. And I'm not just talking about here on Route 1.

Everybody can beat everybody.

San Diego was 4-8 and now, because Denver couldn't beat Oakland or Buffalo at home, they are a win away from winning their division.

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