Patriots Clinching Scenarios: How AFC East, First-Round Bye Can Be Secured In Week 16


Dec 19, 2019

The New England Patriots might have a really nice weekend in store for them, or they could enter Week 17 with a lot of business to take care of.

Week 16 will kick off Saturday instead of Thursday, with the Patriots set to host the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium. Buffalo only trails the Pats by one game in the AFC East standings, so a road win for the Bills this week would result in the division crown coming down to the final week of the regular season.

That said, the Patriots’ path to winning the division is very simple: Win or tie Saturday. That is quite literally the only way the division can be clinched this week by either team.

Should the Pats avoid a loss, they also can claim a bye in the first round of the playoffs, something they obviously would benefit from. There are two ways that can be accomplished:

1. The Patriots beat the Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs lose or tie Sunday night to the Chicago Bears.

2. The Patriots tie against the Bills and the Chiefs lose to the Bears.

Simple enough, right?

Bills-Patriots kicks off at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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