Patriots close out regular season with 38-3 blowout of Jets

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(Adam Richins/Boston Sports Journal)

FOXBOROUGH — Bring on the playoffs.

The Patriots closed out the regular season with a thunderous 38-3 win over the Jets on Sunday, securing a first-round bye.

This one was never in doubt -- Tom Brady was red-hot out of the gate, going 16-for-22 for 165 yards and three touchdowns in the first half as New England built a 21-3 lead after two. Brady connected with James White (17 yards), Rex Burkhead (18 yards) and Phillip Dorsett (nine yards) in the first half as the Patriots dominated a Jets team that looked mostly ready for the start of another offseason.

Brady ended up going 24-for-33 for 250 yards and four touchdowns, looking an awful lot sharper than he did the last two weeks. (He was pulled in favor of Brian Hoyer with just over two minutes to go in regulation.) Sony Michel (50 rushing yards), White (69 yards from scrimmage) and Julian Edelman (69 yards receiving, 24 yards rushing) all chipped in offensively for the Patriots.

In the second half, the defense had some fun, as Adam Butler delivered a sack and a forced fumble on Sam Darnold. Kyle Van Noy scooped up the ball and dashed 46 yards for the score. It was one of four sacks on the day for New England, as Trey Flowers, Lawrence Guy and Derek Rivers also got to Darnold.

The Patriots tacked on a 38-yard field goal (with 9:40 to go) and a late 5-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Edelman (with 3:26 left) in the fourth quarter to finish the scoring, and close out the regular season a perfect 8-0 at home.