The Patriots will enter the weekend outside of the AFC playoff picture following their Thanksgiving loss at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Minnesota Vikings defeated New England 33-26 in a Thursday night thriller, dropping the Patriots from sixth place to eighth in the AFC standings. The top seven (four division winners and three wild cards) will qualify for the postseason.
Here’s an updated look at those standings:
1. Kansas City Chiefs (8-2; AFC West leader)
2. Buffalo Bills (8-3; AFC East leader)
3. Tennessee Titans (7-3; AFC South leader)
4. Baltimore Ravens (7-3; AFC North leader)
5. Miami Dolphins (7-3; first wild card)
6. Cincinnati Bengals (6-4; second wild card)
7. New York Jets (6-4; third wild card)
8. New England Patriots (6-5)
9. Los Angeles Chargers (5-5)
10. Indianapolis Colts (4-6-1)
The Bills also won their Thanksgiving game, getting a last-second field goal from Tyler Bass to take down the Detroit Lions 28-25. New England and Buffalo will square off next Thursday at Gillette Stadium their first of two AFC East matchups over the final six weeks of the season.
Though they had their three-game win streak snapped Thursday and now sit just a game above .500, the Patriots still control their own destiny in the competitive AFC. Four of their last six games are against teams currently above them in the standings: home against Buffalo in Week 13, home against Cincinnati in Week 16, home against Miami in Week 17 and at Buffalo in Week 18. They’ll also visit the 3-7 Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14 and the 4-7 Arizona Cardinals in Week 15.
Thursday’s primetime loss featured quarterback Mac Jones’ best performance of the season, but the Patriots again struggled in the red zone, committed poorly timed mental errors and were torched by Vikings star receiver Justin Jefferson. They also were on the wrong side of several controversial officiating decisions, most notably the third-quarter touchdown pass from Jones to tight end Hunter Henry that was overturned upon video review.