Here’s Patriots’ (Highly Unlikely) Path To Playoff Spot After Loss To Rams

Thursday's loss dropped the Patriots to 6-7 on the season


December 11, 2020

For all intents and purposes, the New England Patriots’ bid for a 2020 playoff spot ended Thursday night at SoFi Stadium.

But even after their demoralizing 24-3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, the 6-7 Patriots have not been mathematically eliminated from postseason contention.

Their chances of qualifying are extremely slim — between 4 and 7 percent, depending on which model you prefer — but not yet nonexistent.

Here’s an updated look at the AFC wild-card standings:

5. Cleveland Browns (9-3)
6. Miami Dolphins (8-4)
7. Indianapolis Colts (8-4)
8. Las Vegas Raiders (7-5)
9. Baltimore Ravens (7-5)
10. New England Patriots (6-7)

In order for the Patriots to earn a play berth, they would need to win out (beating the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets in their final three games) and have at least three of the following five scenarios transpire:

— Browns lose each of their final four games
— Dolphins lose at least three of their final four games
— Colts or Tennessee Titans* lose at least three of their final four games
— Raiders lose at least two of their final four games
— Ravens lose at least two of their final four games

(*Tennessee is tied with Indianapolis for first place in the AFC South but owns the tiebreaker)

Like we said, extremely slim.

Here are the remaining schedules for each of those six teams:

Browns: vs. Ravens, at Giants, at Jets, vs. Steelers
Dolphins: vs. Chiefs, vs Patriots, at Raiders, at Bills
Colts: at Raiders, vs. Texans, at Steelers, vs. Jaguars
Titans: at Jaguars, vs. Lions, at Packers, at Texans
Raiders: vs. Colts, vs. Chargers, vs. Dolphins, at Broncos
Ravens: at Browns, vs. Jaguars, vs. Giants, at Bengals

Speaking after Thursday’s loss, multiple Patriots captains said the team won’t throw in the towel despite these exceedingly long odds.

?We ain?t a bunch of quitters,? defensive tackle Lawrence Guy said. ?It doesn?t matter what the record is. It doesn?t matter what the outcome is. We ain?t a bunch of quitters. We?re going to go out there and play some football. We are who we are. We?re NEP, and that?s what we?re going to do — continue to fight regardless of what happens at the end of the season.”

Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images
New England Patriots cornerback Myles Bryant
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