Welker: This is for the No. 1 seed


Welker: This is for the No. 1 seed

FOXBORO -- Despite having the division clinched and a first-round bye secured, the Patriots enter Sunday's game with Buffalo as a team still motivated to reach their regular-season goals.

With recent Tom Brady injury concerns growing -- outside of the locker room at least -- some would argue there's little to play for on Sunday against a team that's already been eliminated from postseason contention.

After Friday's practice at Gillette Stadium the Patriots made it clear: there won't be any rest for the starters on Sunday -- not even for Brady.

When asked if he expected Brady to play the entire game, wide receiver Wes Welker said, "Absolutely. I mean, this is for the No. 1 seed, fellas. So we're going out there and giving it everything we got for four quarters."

Welker -- and the rest of the team -- remembers that last season the Patriots were the No. 1 seed and had home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. He also knows that it didn't guarantee a win, as the Patriots lost to the New York Jets in the Divisional round.

Still, they'd rather have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, than not.

"That's the whole key, trying to get home-field advantage this weekend, and being the number one seed," said Welker on Friday. "So that's definitely something that's on our minds and something that we're playing for. We understand that we've got to come out there and play really well from start to finish . . . It's huge, and being able to know you're going to be at home, no matter what, is a key thing."

"Any time you can play at home -- and we're always tough to play here at home -- it's a great thing for us," said linebacker Jerod Mayo. "That is a goal, and hopefully we can get it done this week."

If the No. 1 seed wasn't motivation enough for the Patriots on Sunday, then payback for a Week 3 loss to the Bills will be.

"We're not trying to get ahead of ourselves or anything," said Welker. "We're just understanding that Buffalo's a good team and they beat us last time we played them. So that's motivation out there as well. We've got plenty of factors coming into this game, and we've got to use them all to try and come away with a victory.

"Anytime you come away from a team that beat us the last time out, Belichick's definitely going to let you know about it," added Welker. "And I think we're already tired of hearing about it, and we pony lost to them one time in a long time. That's enough for us. We need to come away with a victory this Sunday."

Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 5, Angels 4


Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 5, Angels 4

Quotes, Notes and Stars of the Red Sox’ 5-4 win over the Angels


"It's a joke. That's a brutal call for whoever's back in New York looking at it.'' - Mike Scioscia on decision not to cite fan interference on ground-rule double in the ninth.

"We played with 26 players tonight. I was like, 'Yes!''' - David Ortiz on the fan who touched Daniel Nava's double.

"If I had to go back and do it all over again, I probably would have just thrown a knuckleball. I didn't want to walk a guy, but I've got to think about the bigger picture and just swallow the walk.'' - Steven Wright, on the fastball thrown to C.J. Cron, who hit a grand slam.


* David Ortiz moved into 19th place all-time in home runs with No. 522, breaking a tie with Willie McCovey, Frank Thomas and Ted Williams.

* Ortiz collected his 2,000th hit as a member of the Red Sox, something only six other players in history have accomplished.

* Ortiz also passed Thomas in career RBI with 1,704, good for 23rd place.

* Ortiz extended his Fenway hitting streak to 18 games. He's reached base at home in every home game since April 29.

* Steven Wright has allowed just six homers all season, but three have come in the last four games. Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts became the first Red Sox teammates to record 100 hits each before the team's 81st game since 1988 when four players did so - Wade Boggs, Dwight Evans, Mike Greenwell and Marty Barrett.

* The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Red Sox against the Angels.

* The game marked the 47th time in first 79 games that the Sox have collected 10 or more hits. That leads the majors, with Kansas City and Detroit next at 39.

* The Sox are 23-9 in Brock Holt's starts.


1) David Ortiz

Ortiz had a three-hit game with two singles and a homer, the last of which was his 2,000th hit in a Red Sox uniform. The homer also was career home run No. 522, moving him past three Hall of Famers into 19th place all-time.

2) Brock Holt

Holt announced his presence loud and clear with two doubles, two runs scored, an RBI and an assist from the outfield.

3) C.J. Cron

Cron made things mighty interesting with one swing of the bat in the sixth, driving a ball into the Monster Seats for a grand slam that brought the Angels back to within a run.

Sean McAdam can be followed on Twitter: @Sean_McAdam


Report: Celtics meeting with Al Horford "went very well"


Report: Celtics meeting with Al Horford "went very well"

The Boston Celtics' meeting with free agent center Al Horford "went very well," a source told The Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach.

The source also added that the Celtics have a "good chance" of signing Horford.

Horford is expected to demand a max contract valued at roughly four-years, $113 million.

Multiple other reports suggest the Hawks have resisted offering Horford a max, though they are working to clear space to re-sign him.

Dupont on Backes: B's won't have any problem with this deal

Dupont on Backes: B's won't have any problem with this deal

Kevin Paul Dupont joins Sports Tonight to discuss the Bruins signing former St. Louis Blue David Backes to a 5-year, $30 million deal.