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AFC playoff picture: Patriots win, move to 10-2, still might fall out of 1st

The AFC playoff seeding is out of the Patriots hands.

Entering week 13, the New England Patriots were the #1 seed in the AFC. The Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams to move to 10-2. They might finish the day as the #2 seed.

How is this possible? Well, the Patriots need some help from the Buffalo Bills if they are going to win homefield advantage in the AFC.

The Patriots are the #1 seed ahead of the Oakland Raiders by virtue of the conference record tiebreaker. The Patriots are 7-1 against AFC teams, while the Raiders are 6-1, giving the Patriots the edge.

The Raiders are currently playing the Bills as of this publishing (the Bills led 10-9 at halftime). If the Raiders win, they will move to a 7-1 conference record, erasing the Patriots edge. The next tiebreaker is common games and because the Patriots lost to the Bills in week 4, a Raiders win over the Bills would give the Raiders the tiebreaker.

So even though the Patriots were the #1 seed and won, they could end up behind the Raiders at the end of the day. So, uh, go Buffalo?

  1. (10-2) New England Patriots
  2. (9-2) Oakland Raiders - If the Raiders lose, they will be the 5th seed and the Chiefs will be the #2 seed.
  3. (7-5) Baltimore Ravens
  4. (6-6) Houston Texans
  5. (9-3) Kansas City Chiefs
  6. (8-4) Denver Broncos

In the hunt: (7-5) Dolphins, (6-5) Steelers, (6-5 Bills), (6-6) Titans, (5-6) Colts