FOXBORO - Did the Jacksonville Jaguars get the Patriots' attention? Did Tom Brady and Bill Belichick? Was last Sunday a flat performance or a harbinger of a team flattening out? Will the Dolphins compete in the cold or mail it in for the year? All those dynamics are in play as the Patriots play their final regular season game of 2012 with a 12-4 record at stake and - possibly - a first-round bye.
A year ago, Xander Bogaerts might have been the last person the Red Sox would have wanted to see at the plate with the game on the line. What a difference a year makes.