FOXBORO -- They got the No. 1 seed and got out of the game healthy. The Patriots won't play again until January 14 at the earliest. Perhaps between now and then they'll be able to figure out the slow-start phenomenon that's been plaguing them. It reared its head again on Sunday as the Bills put a 21-0 hammering on the Patriots in the first quarter. That, combined with the 34-31 win over New England in Week 3 in which the Bills erased a 21-0 lead meant they'd outscored the Patriots 55-10 over a 47-minute span. But in the end, the explosiveness of the Patriots' offense, the sloppiness of the Bills offense and some solid playmaking by the maligned Patriots defense brought New England a 49-21 win.
That desire to prove naysayers wrong, a Celtics' rallying cry all season, is what gives them a chance - OK, a real slim one - against LeBron and the Cavs.