Patriots Have Easiest First-Round Postseason Opponent In Dolphins

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December 22, 2019

Week 17 might as well be another playoff game for the New England Patriots.

The Patriots treated their Week 16 matchup with the Buffalo Bills like a postseason one, and they should do the same at home against the Miami Dolphins.

Because if the Patriots beat the Dolphins, they’re essentially winning a wild-card round playoff game. A win means the Patriots get the No. 2 seed in the AFC and a first-round bye in the postseason. A win means they don’t have to play in the wild-card round.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick explained this mindset after the Patriots’ Week 17 win last season when they clinched a first-round bye by beating the New York Jets.

?Essentially we won next week because we won today, so we?ll see who the next team we play is,” Belichick said a year ago.

As far as “playoff” opponents go, you won’t find an easier matchup than the 4-11 Dolphins who lost 43-0 to the Patriots in Miami in Week 2.

If the Patriots lose to the Dolphins and the Chiefs beat the Los Angeles Chargers, as Kansas City is expected to do, then the Patriots would have to play in wild-card weekend for the first time since 2009.

The Patriots lost in wild-card weekend to the Baltimore Ravens in 2009.

The Patriots will not be getting home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Ravens clinched that Sunday when they beat the Cleveland Browns.

As the playoff picture currently stands, the Chiefs are projected to be the No. 3 seed, the Houston Texans are projected to be No. 4, the Bills are projected to be No. 5 and the Tennessee Titans are projected to be No. 6.

If the Patriots beat the Dolphins, they would play the Chiefs, Texans or Bills in the divisional round.

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