NEW YORK (AP) – Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will be playing in the postseason a week earlier than they are used to.
The defending Super Bowl champions will start the playoffs with the wild card round for the first time since 2009, after dropping 27-24 unexpectedly against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Simultaneously, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 31-21, which earned them a break in the first week of the postseason.
"We don't play as we are capable and that ended up costing us," Brady said. "Just a lot of mistakes."RELATED
The Patriots (12-4) are the third preclassified of the American Conference and will have to repair things quickly as they will receive Tennessee (9-7) next weekend.
"We have a game next week, we need to be ready," Patriots safety Devin McCourty said. “No one should feel sorry for us. We shouldn't feel sorry for each other. Our goal is to play the postseason and we have a chance of all that next week. ”
The Titans secured their place in the playoffs by beating Houston 35-14, eliminating Pittsburgh and Oakland along the way. The three teams had a chance to reach the playoffs, but Tennessee had the easiest way with a win – and got it against Texans who gave rest to several of their owners, including quarterback Deshaun Watson.
“I think it's very good when you can determine if you keep playing,” said Titans coach Mike Vrabel. “There was a great effort, but we are going to have to improve. Everything becomes more difficult from now on. ”
The last time New England played on the wild card weekend lost at home to the Ravens. The Patriots have never reached the Super Bowl in campaigns in which Brady and coach Bill Belichick have a match in the first round.
"We have to move on and be ready or our campaign will end next week if we don't turn the page and play well, much better than today," McCourty said. "Nobody feels sorry because the Patriots will not rest for a week."
Meanwhile, the Chiefs (12-4) are the second preclassified and can observe the first round along with the first place, the Baltimore Ravens (14-2).
"We will take a step back, players will come tomorrow, we will have a team meeting, I will give them a calendar of what we will do next week when we rest," coach Andy Reid said. "The most important thing is that we get results, but resting and getting ready for whoever we face."
The Kansas City victory ensured that Houston kept the fourth place. The Texans (10-6) will host the Buffalo Bills (10-6) next weekend.
Although they made several headlines rest, including quarterback Lamar Jackson, runner Mark Ingram, guard Marshal Yanda and safety Earl Thomas, Baltimore easily beat Pittsburgh 28-10. Reach the playoffs with a run of 12 straight wins.
"We were the best team in the regular season this year, but that doesn't count in the next season," coach John Harbaugh acknowledged. "It's the next season and we obviously have to go to work this week and become a better team."
At the National Conference, Green Bay won its rest week with the 23-20 win over Detroit. But Aaron Rodgers and the Packers (13-3) didn't get the home advantage for all the playoffs. That privilege corresponded to the San Francisco 49ers, who took first place in the conference, after winning as visitors 26-21 over the Seattle Seahawks.
"It's a step in the right direction," said Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. "But we have a long way to go."
Longest sports the Seattle route. The defeat condemned him to play as a visitor the wild card game, next Sunday in Philadelphia.
The Green Bay quarterback stressed that, first or not, the Packers will be dangerous.
"We're hot," Rodgers said after he helped his team turn around and get their fifth win in a row. "We have to start from scratch in the postseason and now there are very good teams so the margin of error is smaller."
New Orleans beat Carolina 42-10 to finish with a 13-3 record in the regular season, but Drew Brees and company also failed to rest in the first round.
The triumph of the 49ers put the Saints, monarchs of the South of the National, as the third preclassified and playing at home against Minnesota (1-6) in the wild card round next weekend.
Philadelphia (9-7), plagued by injuries, won the Eastern Division of the National Conference with a 34-17 win over the New York Giants, eliminating Dallas with this victory. The Eagles, with their third divisional title in three years, will receive the Seahawks.
"This team achieves things in critical moments," Eagles tackle Tim Jernigan said after his team finished the season with four straight wins.