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Quick-hit thoughts on the Patriots’ 24-12 win against the Bills: It’s a great day to be a Patriots fan

A lot of things went right for the Patriots on Sunday.

Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The New England Patriots got a big home win against the Buffalo Bills, and wrapped up their 10th straight AFC East crown in the process. I know, technically that happened when the Miami Dolphins lost a few minutes before the end of the Patriots game, but I’m saying the win was the reason.

I could talk a lot about the game. How terrible Tom Brady was. How the Patriots rushed for 270 yards against one of the best run defenses in the NFL. How well J.C. Jackson and Jason McCourty played. How Matthew Slater caught and downed two punts inside the 15-yard line. How Chris Hogan played 62 snaps without a target, again. How bad of a passer Josh Allen is. But I’m not doing any of that. Instead, I’m talking about how one day changed everything in the AFC, and should make the Patriots feel a little better.

A few things had to happen for the Patriots to get back into the #2 spot. First, they needed to beat the Bills, and the Houston Texans had to lose to the Philadelphia Eagles. Well, after the win, what seemed like half of the stadium stayed in the plaza outside of The Hall watching the Eagles kick a last second field goal to beat the Texans. Now all the Patriots need to do is beat the Jets, and they’ll have a first round bye.

Then there’s the Steelers, the team every Patriots fan hates. They were riding high, feeling good about themselves as the #4 seed and leader of the AFC North. Then they went down to New Orleans and lost to the Saints. Combine that with wins by the Titans, Colts, and Ravens, and they are out of the playoff picture. Their only hope is that the Browns can go into Baltimore and win next week. Combine that with a Steelers win against the Bengals, and they win the AFC North. They can’t get in as a Wild Card team, because the Colts and Titans play each other Sunday night. The winner of that game gets the 6 seed and finishes with a record of 10-6, better than what’s possible for the Steelers.

Then there’s the Eagles. I already told you they knocked off the Texans for us, but don’t feel too bad about rooting for them, they’re still not in the playoffs yet. They need a win in Washington, and for the Vikings to lose to the Bears at home. Now, the Bears are better than the Vikings, but that game might not matter. The Bears have the third seed wrapped up, and although they could technically get into the second seed, the Rams would have to lose to the 49ers next week in order for that to happen. Throw in the fact that the matchup would most likely be the same in Wild Card Weekend, and there’s not much of an incentive for them to go all out to win next week.

To recap, in one weekend, the Patriots went from having to host a Wild Card game to being set up for a bye. On the same day, the Steelers and Eagles (who helped the Patriots out) were all but eliminated from the playoffs. That’s a pretty damn great weekend. It seems as though things may be coming together for the Patriots at the end of the year. I know I’m feeling much better about their chances next month.

Pat is the host of The Patriot Nation Podcast

Interact with him on Twitter @plane_pats

Welcome to the Pats Pulpit Live Postgame Show! The Patriots clinched their 10th straight AFC East title today with a win over the Bills. Send us your questions and comments!

Posted by Pats Pulpit: For New England Patriots News on Sunday, December 23, 2018