FOXBOROUGH — And a good time was had by all.
OK, maybe not Trevor Lawrence and the rest of the fellas in white, but the boys in blue? They had a ball.
And that includes the Marines in their dress blues who were spotted chugging beers on the Jumbotron during the Patriots’ 50-10 dismantling of the clawless and often clueless Jaguars Sunday.
New Year’s Eve may have come and gone, but the party rolled on for the 65,878 at Gillette Stadium, which even had a DJ (for the record, his name was Chris Roxx) in the house spinning tunes as the Patriots were spinning Lawrence, who threw three interceptions.
After taking care of their own business, the Patriots have just one stop left on their regular-season itinerary: a southern sojourn to South Beach, where they can personally thank the Dolphins for helping punch their ticket to the postseason.
Erasing all memories of their recent two-game skid, the Patriots improved to 10-6 while extending the season of misery for Jacksonville, which fell to 2-14.
The postgame compliments were everywhere because the in-game complementary football was everywhere.
“I thought that we played well in all three phases of the game,’’ said Bill Belichick. “It was good. It was what we needed to do and hopefully we can build on this and play well next week and going forward … Excited to be back in the playoffs but a big game coming up this week … [The Dolphins] are a good football team. I’ve got a lot of respect for them.’’
New England turned all three Lawrence misfires into touchdowns and accomplished one of their stated goals following losses to the Colts and Bills: getting off to fast start.
After the defense forced a three and out on the opening drive, Mac Jones led an 11-play, 70-yard drive that was capped by Damien Harris’s 2-yard plunge for a 7-0 lead.
It was close to all they would need on an afternoon when the fog consistently rolled in but only one team looked like it was playing in it.
The Jaguars answered with Matthew Wright’s 29-yard field goal before the Patriots scored the next 43 points.
“I think that’s something the last few weeks we haven’t done a good job of,’’ said center David Andrews. “Kind of been playing from behind, showed a lot of fight at times, but when you’re playing from behind the whole game it’s hard.’’
Harris scored his second touchdown — and fifth in two weeks — to boost the score to 14-3. Harris’s 14 rushing touchdowns leave him in a tie with Curtis Martin for second most in a season in franchise history, behind LeGarrette Blount’s 18 in 2016.
Jones then threw touchdown passes on the next three possessions, including a pair to practice squad callup/revelation Kristian Wilkerson.
Jones hit Wilkerson in the back of the end zone from 6 yards for the receiver’s first career score — set up by Myles Bryant’s interception — for a 21-3 lead. Wilkerson was mobbed by his teammates and then got a big hug from receivers coach Mick Lombardi on the sideline.
J.C. Jackson nabbed his eighth interception on the next drive and again Jones cashed in by beating the blitz and hitting Jakobi Meyers from 4 yards away.
“When we got down there, they called zero blitz,’’ said Meyers. “I knew I had to win and win fast, and Mac threw me a dime.’’
New England headed to the locker room with a 28-3 lead and came out and immediately bumped it to 34-3 when Jones hit a wide-open Wilkerson (corner Tyson Campbell just abandoned him) from the 20.
“I’m just doing whatever I can to help the team win,’’ said a modest Wilkerson. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a catch or blocking, just trying to help the team win.’’
With Harris resting his hamstring for the second half — “I’m good,’’ he reported — Rhamondre Stevenson took over and helped pound the Jaguars into oblivion.
The rookie rushed for 66 of his 107 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns over the final 30 minutes. His first came on a 1-yard run that was set up by Kyle Dugger’s 20-yard interception return.
Following Nick Folk’s 43-yard field goal that upped the advantage to 44-3, Stevenson scored his second TD — and fifth of the season — on a 6-yard run to make it 50-3.
“There’s a lot of good things [the running backs] do that make us look a lot better than we are sometimes,’’ Andrews said with a smirk.
Jones, who wasn’t touched once by the Jaguars, said the bounce-back game was all about executing better.
“We talk about how it’s us, it doesn’t have to do a lot with the other team,’’ he said. “We just have to focus on what we’re supposed to do and how we can do better at it, and we didn’t do that in recent weeks. We’ve got to do that more consistently and I think that was a good step today, but the job’s not done.’’
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