Patriots are actually sitting pretty with No. 2 seed in AFC playoffs


NOTE: This column has been updated with the result of the Kansas City-Oakland game.

FOXBORO -- First, sorry about my expectation that the Jets might show up today and put up a point or two. I should have known better.

No player who simply needs to negotiate three hours of football before he gets three months off wants to mess up his trip to Turks and Caicos with an injury.

I am forever scarred by the Patriots' Miami loss in the 2015 season finale, so I expect every team to show up. My bad.

Now, with the second-seed secured,  we know the Patriots will be playing either January 12 or 13 in the AFC Divisional Playoffs.

So let's survey the landscape of what’s likely coming at No. 2.


The only team the Patriots WON’T be eligible to play in the Divisional Playoffs will be the No. 6 seed. That will either be Tennessee or Indianapolis, depending on who wins the Sunday Night game, or -- in the unlikely event of a Titans-Colts tie -- Pittsburgh.  Strike it from your focus.

So we know that, next weekend, the Texans will host Indy or Tennessee (or the Steelers) and the Chargers will play at Baltimore.

If the fifth-seeded Chargers -- who’d likely be favored by a couple at the Ravens -- win that Wild Card Game and the Texans beat the No. 6 seed, the Chiefs will host the Chargers and the Patriots would play the Texans.

That’s a crap deal for Kansas City, in my opinion.

The only way the Patriots don’t get Houston is if the Texans lose to the six seed. Then No. 6 will go to KC and the Patriots will get the Baltimore-Los Angeles winner.

When one lays it all out, the notion that the Patriots might end up playing two home games in the playoffs isn’t all that far-fetched.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.


Contact Us