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Patriots Playoff Seeding Scenarios

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Patriots can still clinch #1 Seed despite heartbreaking loss in overtime to the Jets.

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the Patriots suffered a 26-20 OT loss to the Jets, the scenario remains the same. The Patriots still control their destiny for the #1 seed. The dilemma though is balancing going for a win while keeping their key players rested. The Patriots already have clinched a first round bye and they could theoretically punt the game against Miami. With the amount of attrition suffered against the Jets, the Patriots are awfully thin everywhere on the offense along with key defenders battling injuries.

These are the clinching scenarios:

  • #1 Seed if the Patriots win or Bengals and Broncos lose at least 1 game.
  • #2 Seed if Patriots lose and Broncos/Bengals win out
The Patriots hold the common opponent tiebreaker over Cincinnati, but the Broncos have the head-to-head. If all 3 teams finish 12-4, the Broncos get the #1 seed and the Patriots get the #2. With AJ McCarron starting, the Broncos have the natural edge since they have a better defense. So the Patriots should try to opt for the less convoluted scenario and just win. However, the health of the team should come before the #1 seed.