NFL Playoff Picture: How Patriots Can Clinch AFC East Title, First-Round Bye This Weekend


Fans at Gillette Stadium next Monday night could be treated to a so-called “hat and T-shirt game.”

With a win over the Baltimore Ravens on “Monday Night Football,” the New England Patriots could clinch their eighth consecutive AFC East title and a first-round bye in the upcoming NFL playoffs.

Both clinching scenarios require outside help, however.

For the Patriots to lock up a division title, the Miami Dolphins also would have to lose to or tie the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. And for the Pats to secure safe passage to the divisional round, both the Dolphins and the Pittsburgh Steelers would need to either lose or tie. The Steelers, who are riding a three-game winning streak, visit the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Below is a full list of teams that can clinch playoff spots this weekend, courtesy of NFL director of football communications Randall Liu. That list includes the Oakland Raiders, who currently control their own destiny as the top seed in the AFC.

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images

Picked For You