Although they can finish no better than 11-5 this season, the No. 1 seed remains in reach for the New England Patriots with one week remaining.
With the Kansas City Chiefs losing to the Seattle Seahawks 38-31 on Sunday night, the Patriots would clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs if all three of the following scenarios play out in Week 17:
— The 10-5 Patriots defeat the 4-11 New York Jets at Gillette Stadium.
— The 11-4 Chiefs lose at home to the 3-11 Oakland Raiders.
— The 11-4 Los Angeles Chargers lose to the 6-8 Broncos in Denver.
That would make the Patriots the No. 1 seed, the Chiefs the No. 2 seed (and AFC West champion) and the Chargers the No. 5 seed.
New England, which defeated the Buffalo Bills 24-12 on Sunday to snap a two-game losing streak and clinch its 10th consecutive AFC East title, owns the tiebreaker over Kansas City thanks to its Week 6 win over the Chiefs.
The Patriots entered the weekend as the No. 3 seed in the AFC but moved up to No. 2 following their win over the Bills and the Houston Texans’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. A victory over the Jets would secure them a first-round playoff bye for the ninth consecutive season.