Patriots defense stingiest in NFL heading to playoffs (The Associated Press)

The New England defense has turned from a major question mark to a strength as the Patriots steam toward the playoffs. ”It’s just y’all that was gassing all of that up,” defensive co-captain Dont’a Hightower said Thursday, pointing a finger at the media. The Patriots, who visit Miami on Sunday looking for their seventh straight win, a 14-2 regular-season record and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, haven’t yielded a touchdown in more than nine quarters and haven’t allowed a real touchdown drive in the past three games.