Patriots Cheat Sheet – Week 16 @ Jacksonville

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The “Yikes, But Phew” Edition

Family dinner conversation this Christmas Eve taking you toward the Patriots playoff standings and final push of the season? Need to know how to talk about it? We’ve got you covered, in this penultimate edition of the Patriots Cheat Sheet for the regular season.

No need to dwell too long on yesterday’s formality of a “just win enough” for the Patriots down in Jacksonville. Brady got the touchdown pass he needed to extend his streak to 47 – catching up to Johnny Unitas and tied for second all-time behind Drew Brees. The Pats had some late defensive stands to keep the Jags at bay, and 23-16, while not impressive, got the important win for that Patriots to keep the dream of a first-round-bye alive.

With that in mind, the Cheat Sheet turns to three things you need to know heading into the last weekend of the season regarding who the Pats will play in the first rounds of the playoffs.

  • If the Pats lose to Miami – New England will be the three seed and host Cincinnati in the first week of the playoffs if the Ravens also lose to the Bengals in Week 17. If the Ravens win, the Patriots will host Indianapolis.
  • If the Pats beat Miami, but Houston loses to Indianapolis or Denver loses to Kansas City – New England will be the  two seed, get a week off, and then play the highest seeded team in the AFC in the second round. The team that doesn’t lose of those two opponents will be the one seed and would potentially host the AFC Championship if both the Patriots and said team get through.
  • If the Pats beat Miami, but both Houston and Denver lose – The Patriots get the overall one-seed in the AFC and will host the lowest seeded team in the second round. If all goes well, the Pats also get to host the AFC Championship.

So, with that, the Miami Dolphins stand between the Pats and knowing their fate. Join us next week as we recap the season and look to playoff previews against whomever may be waiting for New England.