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Bill Belichick: ‘Glad to see everyone’s still here’

FOXBOROUGH -- Patriots coach Bill Belichick cracked a few jokes Friday in his final comments before his team flies to Florida for Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“Glad to see everyone’s still here,” Belichick said as he began, in recognition that the Mayan calendar prediction of the world ending on Friday was, fortunately, inaccurate.

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With the game plan installed, Friday is typically a lighter day, both at practice and in Belichick’s mood. And he said Sunday’s game, while important, isn’t a playoff game, the way other teams fighting for postseason spots likely view these late-season matchups.

The 10-4 Patriots have already locked up the AFC East title, and are currently projected as the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoffs. Not having to fight for a spot takes some pressure off, even if seeding is still to be determined.

“If you have to win a game to get into the playoffs, then you’re really playing a playoff game. I think it’d be a stretch to call this a playoff game,” Belichick said. “It’s a big game for us, but it’s not a playoff game.

“I think the most important thing for a team is to be playing well for the most important games of the season, and they’re ahead for all of us. Hopefully we’ll be able to do that when the time comes. The season is going to come down to a game, a quarter, a series, a play, and the team that’s able to execute at a high level at that particular point in time, that’s going to decide which team moves on, which teams are the champions, and which teams aren’t.”

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