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The Patriots Have Clinched a First Round Bye

The Patriots have an extra week of time before their playoffs start.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots survived a 17-16 game against the division rival Jets. It wasn't pretty. They probably could have lost the game on more than a few plays- anyone who didn't feel their stomach in their throat after Brandon LaFell tipped an interception is just not telling the truth. But New England won and they have clinched a first round bye for the playoffs.

This means that New England either has the first or second seed in the AFC. The extra week of rest will help a lot as there are clearly issues on offense that need to be worked out prior to the start of the playoffs.

New England can clinch home field advantage this week if the Cincinnati Bengals upset the visiting Denver Broncos, but no one should really hold their breath for that to happen. The Broncos close out their season with a Week 17 game against the Raiders, which means that the Patriots will likely have to fight the visiting Bills until the very end.

Congratulations to the Patriots for moving one step closer to home field advantage and their season's goal.