Believe it or not, the No. 1 seed in the AFC is still in play for the Patriots.
Their recent two-game losing streak against the Colts and Bills certainly made that task a lot harder. But it’s still possible. Just like the Patriots’ brief stay atop the conference, the 11-5 Titans’ grip on the No. 1 seed is flimsy. Every top contender is and has been one misstep away from slipping out of that coveted bye.
Unfortunately, the Patriots need three missteps from the opposition in order to get back to the No. 1 seed. And after some schedule shuffling in the NFL, which included the Pats and Dolphins moving to 4:25 p.m. ET, fans in New England will have to sweat out the whole thing.
The Patriots have a much better chance of winning the AFC East in Week 18 than they do to reclaim the No. 1 seed. Home field is still on the table for the Patriots, mainly because of their head-to-head performance against key contenders and overall record against the conference.
But neither No. 1 nor the division seem like a distinct possibility, because of the immense help the Patriots need. And, of course, it’s a must-win for the Patriots in order to improve their seeding. Let’s go over the scenarios.