The NFL season ended on Sunday, and with a win over the Bills, the Pats secured the number two seed in the AFC. This gives them a week off to rest up, but also the potential for a slew of opponents when they get back to action in the divisional round in a night game on Saturday, January 11.
The NFL doesn’t run a true bracket – by the nature of being the one seed, the Broncos are guaranteed to host the lowest ranked team remaining in the divisional round, leaving the Patriots whatever other, higher ranked team is left. The opponents will be based on the combinations of who wins the two games this weekend in the AFC – Chiefs at Colts and Chargers at Bengals. Let’s get down to it:
If Colts and Bengals Win: Pats host Bengals
If Colts and Chargers Win: Pats host Colts
If Chiefs and Bengals Win: Pats host Bengals
If Chiefs and Chargers Win: Pats host Chiefs
Of those opponents, the Patriots only played the Bengals this year – a low scoring affair in Cincy back in Week 5. The Pats would likely be favored in all match-ups, and getting the Chiefs wouldn’t be a bad thing – they are 2-5 since their bye week, but they did give their starters the day off yesterday to allow the Chargers to sneak into the playoffs. The Colts could very well be a dangerous team in the playoffs, but some deep New England winter weather could take the domed-stadium-team out of their game plan.
Got it? Got it.