It will be the Jacksonville Jaguars coming to Gillette Stadium on Saturday as the Patriots first playoff opponent. Be prepared for a week of reading and hearing about how the Jaguars are the team that can beat the Patriots. You’ll hear terms like “The Jaguars with their running game are built for cold weather football.” and “The Jaguars physical style will give the Patriots’ finesse offense trouble.” All of which may be true, of course, but it will be hyped beyond belief as much of the national media hopes to see the upset and a quick playoff exit for the Patriots.

Christopher L. Gasper says that the Jaguars will be yes, the most physical opponent the Patriots have faced all season. Karen Guregian says that because of their running game, the Jaguars pose a serious threat to the Patriots Super Bowl chances. Shalise Manza Young calls the Jaguars one of the better fifth seeds in recent years. Christopher Price has the national media getting its wish with Jacksonville being the Patriots first postseason opponent. Mark Farinella says that Bill Belichick had his eye on the Jaguars all along.

Mike Reiss has the Jaguars feeling that they are a team of destiny. John Tomase says that the Patriots will likely attempt to force the Jaguars into more of a passing game. David Heuschkel has Bill Belichick very complimentary of the Jaguars while discussing them last night. Glen Farley and Chris Kennedy have the Patriots already getting ready to face Jacksonville. Farinella has Rodney Harrison with 16-0 behind him and firmly focused on the postseason.

Jim McBride offers up five things you should know about the Jaguars. Tomase provides a capsule look at all things Jaguars as well. Rich Garven also offers a primer of the Jaguars. Tomase also notes that Jags lineman Paul Spicer and coach Jack Del Rio have already provided plenty of bulletin board material for the Patriots this season, coming after the Spygate incident. Feel free to weigh in on this connection over on Patriots Daily.

Laurel J. Sweet has David Letterman telling Donald Trump that the Patriots are going down in the first round of the playoffs.

Celtics

Steve Bulpett has the Celtics remaining grounded after their emotional 92-85 road win over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night. Marc J. Spears has the Celtics bench stepping up as of late, with Glen Davis, Tony Allen and Scot Pollard all playing large roles in recent wins. Mike Fine notes that Kevin Garnett is having the time of his life with the Celtics. Jeff Clark stands in wonderment at what a difference a year can make.

Tim Weisberg says that the Celtics offend some around the league when they don’t “act like they’ve been there before.”

Bruins

Fluto Shinzawa has the Bruins righting the ship after a bad stumble nine days ago. Stephen Harris reports in from the Bruins’ wives festival. Mick Colageo is all for bringing the ice outside and playing more games like the New Years Day Winter Classic.

Misc

David Scott has longtime boxing writer George Kimball tearing apart Bob Halloran’s new book on Micky Ward in yesterday’s Herald.

Dan Shaughnessy draws his own conclusions after Roger Clemens’ appears on 60 Minutes last night. Bill Reynolds has Clemens desperately attempting some damage control.

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