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Tom Brady, Patriots overcome sluggish start, hold on to beat Jaguars 23-16

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    New England Patriots running back Danny Woodhead (39) runs for a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars on a 14-yard touchdown pass play during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) (The Associated Press)

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    New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley (22) runs for yardage past Jacksonville Jaguars strong safety Dawan Landry (26) and cornerback Mike Harris (20) during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) (The Associated Press)

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    Jacksonville Jaguars free safety Chris Prosinski (42) intercepts a pass in front of New England Patriots wide receiver Brandon Lloyd (85) and running back Stevan Ridley (22) during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton) (The Associated Press)

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    Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon (14) catches a pass in the end zone in front of New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty (32) for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton) (The Associated Press)

Tom Brady overcame a rough start by throwing two touchdown passes, and the playoff-bound New England Patriots held on to beat the woeful Jacksonville Jaguars 23-16 Sunday.

Brady threw two interceptions in the first quarter, the second one helping the Jaguars (2-13) build a 10-0 lead.

But the Jaguars faded in the third quarter for the fourth consecutive week, lost for the 11th time in the last 12 games and set a franchise record for losses in a season.

Brady had a lot to do with the home team's latest setback, finding his rhythm after a sluggish start and picking apart Jacksonville's defense.

He hooked up with Wes Welker for a 2-yard score on the second play of the fourth quarter, putting the Patriots (11-4) ahead 23-13 — what seemed like plenty of cushion against the offensively challenged Jaguars.

But Jacksonville had two chances to tie things in the closing minutes.