The path is dead for the New England Patriots.

The 3-10 Patriots were mathematically eliminated from the NFL playoffs after the Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

New England has four regular-season games remaining. It’s the earliest a Patriots team has been mathematically eliminated since Bill Belichick’s first season in 2000, per NFL Network.

Despite the fact the Patriots earned a Week 14 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on “Thursday Night Football,” New England maintains the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. The Arizona Cardinals are on their Week 14 bye, which means the Patriots will keep that draft slot for another week.

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It marks the second straight season and the third time in the last four that the Patriots won’t be reaching the postseason. Robert Kraft said numerous times it was important to him that New England makes the playoffs in 2023. Now the Patriots owner is facing uncertainty with Belichick’s future hanging in the balance.

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New England has not won a playoff game since Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams.

Featured image via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images