New England Patriots

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 18: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on during pregame warm-ups prior to the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 18, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

The Patriots still control their own destiny in the AFC East, even with last week’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts. In fact, they can wrap things up with a win against Buffalo Sunday, plus some help.

Even if they don’t get the help needed to win the division, the Patriots can still clinch at least a wild card spot with a win and a few other games going their way. Here’s a run through of this week’s scenarios…

  • To clinch the AFC East…

    • Patriots win vs. Bills
    • Dolphins loss/tie vs. Saints

     

    The Patriots can’t officially clinch the division on Sunday. They need a Miami loss, and the Dolphins don’t play the Saints until Monday night. Due to a string of injuries and COVID cases, the Saints will be starting Ian Book at quarterback. It will be the first time the fourth-string rookie appears in an NFL game.

  • Playoff Berth Scenario 1

    • Patriots win vs. Bills
    • Raiders loss/tie vs. Broncos
    • Chargers loss vs. Texans
  • Playoff Berth Scenario 2

    • Patriots win vs. Bills
    • Colts loss/tie vs. Cardinals
    • Bengals loss vs. Ravens
  • Playoff Berth Scenario 3

    • Patriots win vs. Bills
    • Colts loss/tie vs. Cardinals
    • Ravens loss vs. Bengals
    • Steelers loss/tie vs. Chiefs
  • Playoff Berth Scenario 4

    • Patriots win vs. Bills
    • Colts loss/tie vs. Cardinals
    • Chargers loss vs. Texans
  • Playoff Berth Scenario 5

    • Patriots win vs. Bills
    • Ravens loss vs. Bengals
    • Browns loss vs. Packers
    • Steelers loss/tie vs. Chiefs