JAGUARS (12-6) at PATRIOTS (14-3)
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OPENING LINE – Patriots by 9 1/2
RECORD VS. SPREAD – Jaguars 9-7, Patriots 11-5
SERIES RECORD – Patriots lead 10-1
LAST MEETING – Patriots beat Jaguars 51-17, Sept. 27, 2015
LAST WEEK – Jaguars beat Steelers 45-42; Patriots beat Titans 35-14
AP PRO32 RANKING – Jaguars No. 10, Patriots No. 1
JAGUARS OFFENSE – OVERALL (6), RUSH (1), PASS (17)
JAGUARS DEFENSE – OVERALL (2), RUSH (21), PASS (1)
PATRIOTS OFFENSE – OVERALL (1), RUSH (10), PASS (2)
PATRIOTS DEFENSE – OVERALL (29), RUSH (20), PASS (30)
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES -Patriots are 3-1 in playoffs against Jaguars. Lone Jacksonville win was 25-10 in 1998 wild-card round when Tom Coughlin was Jacksonville’s coach and Pete Carroll coached New England. … Patriots have won past seven meetings overall and two straight in postseason. … Since Jaguars entered NFL in 1995, they are 1-10 (.091) against Patriots, including playoff games. That’s worst winning percentage of any team vs. one opponent (minimum 10 games) in that span. … Jaguars seeking first trip to Super Bowl [url=http://www.sandiegochargersteamonline.com/derwin-james-jersey]Authentic Derwin James Jersey[/url] , one of four franchises (Lions, Texans, Browns) never to get there. … Jaguars are making third appearance in AFC title game in their 23-year history and first since 1999 season. … Jacksonville lost 20-6 to New England in AFC title game on Jan. 12, 1997. … Jacksonville can become 11th team to defeat top two seeds from their conference in same postseason since 1990 when current playoff format was adopted. … Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone is 1-3 all-time vs. Patriots … Jaguars are 8-0 this season when QB Blake Bortles doesn’t have turnover and 4-6 when he does. … Jags have plus-7 turnover margin on road this season (including playoffs), best mark in franchise history. They have 22 takeaways in nine road games this season, most in NFL and most in single season in franchise history. … Including playoffs, Jacksonville’s defense has scored eight touchdowns this season, three more than any other team. It is most defensive TDs scored in season by one team since 2012 Bears. … In addition to being ranked fourth in NFL in opponent’s red zone TD percentage (43.8), Jacksonville also has best red zone scoring percentage in NFL, scoring TDs on 67.9 percent of trips this season (40 TDs on 56 drives). … RB Leonard Fournette rushed for 109 yards and three TDs in last week’s divisional win. He is only rookie in NFL history with 100-plus yards rushing and three or more rushing TDs in postseason game. … LB Telvin Smith tied career high with 16 tackles and returned fumble for TD last week. He has 27 tackles, forced fumble and fumble return in his two career playoff games. … DE Calais Campbell led AFC with franchise-record and career-high 14 1/2 sacks. … DE Yannick Ngakoue was one of two NFL players (Aaron Donald) with 10 or more sacks (12) and five or more forced fumbles (six). … LB Myles Jack had sack, INT and three pass defenses in first two playoff games. … CB A.J. Bouye has two INTs, forced fumble and seven pass defenses in his past four postseason games. … Patriots playing in seventh straight AFC title game, a record. … New England is 9-4 in AFC championship game overall. Patriots’ 14 appearance rank behind only Pittsburgh (16) and San Francisco (15) for conference title contests. … Coach Bill Belichick is 7-2 all-time vs. Jaguars. … QB Tom Brady is 2-0 in playoffs against Jaguars, throwing for six TDs and no interceptions. …Jacksonville is one of seven NFL teams that Brady has undefeated regular-season record against (5-0). … Jaguars had NFL’s No. 2-ranked scoring defense. Brady has faced top-two scoring defense in playoffs three times (2014 Seahawks, 2004 Eagles, 2004 Steelers). He is 3-0 with passer rating above 100 in each game. … Brady led NFL with 4 [url=http://www.sandiegochargersteamonline.com/uchenna-nwosu-jersey]Authentic Uchenna Nwosu Jersey[/url] ,577 yards passing and ranked first in AFC with 32 TDs. Both are most by QB at age 40 or older. … RB Dion Lewis has 507 scrimmage yards (126.8 per game) with 5 TDs (three rushing, two receiving) in his past four games, including playoffs. … TE Rob Gronkowski led all NFL tight ends with 1,084 yards receiving, his fourth career 1,000-yard season. That is tied with Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten for most among tight ends in NFL history. … In his past six postseason games, Gronkowski has 512 yards receiving (85.3 per game) and seven TDs. He is looking for his seventh playoff game in row with TD catch. … WR Danny Amendola has 190 yards receiving (95 per game) and TD in past two playoff games. … DE Trey Flowers had sack last week. He has 3 1/2 sacks in past two playoff games. … LB James Harrison has 11 career sacks in postseason, tied for fifth most in NFL history.
PHOENIX — The Arizona heat is a fitting setting for the two teams meeting here this weekend.
The Diamondbacks return home Friday after an 8-2 road trip that included three wins by right-hander Zack Greinke and vaulted them 13 games over .500, tying a season high. NL West rival San Francisco has won seven of its last 11 and is coming in after a 7-3 homestand, its best since the 2012 World Series season.
The Diamondbacks took series victories over the Angels, Pittsburgh and Miami and gained two games on the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers to build a 3 1/2 game division lead. They are a sparkling 21-8 since May 28.
“I can’t think of a day where we played bad really,” multi-tasking Greinke told reporters Thursday, when he pitched seven shutout innings in a 4-0 victory over the Marlins while contributing two singles, a stolen base, an RBI and a run.
Greinke became the first pitcher since Bob Gibson in 1969 to have a hit, an RBI and a stolen base in as many as two games in the same season.
“There’s a record every game. You’ve just got to look hard enough for it,” he continued.
The Giants had series victories against Miami [url=http://www.minnesotavikingsteamonline.com/jalyn-holmes-jersey]Authentic Jalyn Holmes Jersey[/url] , San Diego and Colorado in their homestand, losing the finale to Colorado 9-8 on Thursday.
Arizona left-hander Patrick Corbin, who has had abundant success against the Giants this season, faces San Francisco left-hander Andrew Suarez in the opener of the three-game series Friday.
Paul Goldschmidt, who had three hits and an RBI Thursday, enters the series on a roll. He is batting .404 with seven doubles, nine homers and 22 RBIs in his last 22 games while raising his batting average to a season-high .267. He was as low as .198 on May 22. Goldschmidt has feasted on the Giants this season, going 16-for-33 with seven doubles, two homers and seven RBIs in nine games this year.
Each team has gotten healthier as the second half beckons. Shelby Miller and Robbie Ray rejoined the Diamondbacks’ starting rotation in Miami.
Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner has thrown 15 consecutive scoreless innings in his last two starts. He has made five starts, four quality starts, after returning from the disabled list June 5 in a 3-2 loss to Arizona at AT&T Park. Right-handers Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija could return soon.
“You try to look at the silver lining on these injuries,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters this week.
“It’s going to limit their innings and hopefully we see it as we get into August and September, these guys are still fresh. Throw Cueto in there, Samardzija. You make 31, 32 starts, it can take a toll on you. Madison has always been able to handle it, I’ll say that. The fact he’s missed a lot of time should help him.”
Corbin [url=http://www.newyorkgiantsteamonline.com/nate-solder-jersey]Authentic Nate Solder Jersey[/url] , 6-3 with a 3.24 ERA, is 2-0 with a 2.32 ERA in three starts against the Giants this season. He took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before giving up a two-out, check-swing single to Brandon Belt in a 1-0 victory on April 17, his first career shutout. Corbin gave up one run in 6 1/3 innings of a 3-2 victory at the Giants on June 5.
He threw seven scoreless innings and a tied a career high with 12 strikeouts in his last outing, a no-decision at Pittsburgh on June 22 in a game the Diamondbacks won 2-1 in 12 innings. Corbin is 7-7 with a 3.07 ERA in 22 career appearances against the Giants, 20 starts. He is 4-3 with a 3.92 ERA at Chase Field this season.
Rookie Suarez, 2-4 with a 4.43 ERA, has made 12 starts this season, 11 since joining the rotation for good on May 1, just before Cueto went out. He made his major league debut in a spot start against Arizona on April 11, giving up four runs in 5 1/3 innings in a 7-3 home loss. Goldschmidt and John Ryan Murphy homered off him in that game.
Suarez is 1-0 with a 2.86 ERA in five June starts and gave up one run in 5 2/3 innings in his last start, a no-decision in a 5-3 victory over San Diego on Saturday. He is 1-2 with a 6.18 ERA in six road starts this season. He has never pitched in Chase Field.
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