The New England Patriots have clinched the AFC East and are headed to the NFL playoffs. The Patriots playoff schedule will not be known until after Week 16, but here is a look at the various scenarios for New England.
The Patriots win combined with the Texans loss means the two teams are tied for the No. 2 seed in the AFC. The Patriots will host the Jets in their regular season finale. The Texans will host the Jaguars in Week 17. According to NFL.com, the Patriots own the tiebreaker and would be the No. 2 seed if the postseason started today.
Heading into Week 16, Football Outsiders’ projections gave the Texans a slight edge to win the No. 2 seed. Houston had a 51.6 percent chance to win the No. 2 seed, while the Patriots had a 40.2 percent chance at the spot. Those odds will be much closer after the Texans’ loss.
Here’s a look at the current AFC playoff picture along with the tiebreakers.
Patriots & Texans Tiebreakers: How It Works
The Patriots currently own the tiebreaker over the Texans. It looks like New England will likely secure the No. 2 seed if they win in Week 17. Here is how NFL.com explains the tiebreaker procedures listed in order.
Head-to-head, if applicable.
Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.
Strength of victory.
Strength of schedule.
Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
Best net points in conference games.
Best net points in all games.
Best net touchdowns in all games.
Patriots Playoff Schedule
If the Patriots secure the No. 2 seed, New England’s first playoff game would either be on Saturday, January 12 or Sunday, January 13. If the Patriots end up lower than No. 2, they would play on Wild Card weekend on Saturday, January 5 or Sunday, January 6.
AFC Playoff Standings
|1. Kansas City Chiefs||11||3||0|
|2. New England Patriots||10||5||0|
|3. Houston Texans||10||5||0|
|4. Baltimore Ravens||9||6||0|
|5. L.A. Chargers||11||4||0|
|6. Indianapolis Colts||9||6||0|
|7. Tennessee Titans||9||6||0|
|8. Pittsburgh Steelers||8||6||1|
|9. Cleveland Browns||7||7||1|
|10. Miami Dolphins||7||8||0|
|11. Denver Broncos||6||8||0|
|12. Cincinnati Bengals||6||9||0|
|13. Buffalo Bills||5||10||0|
|14. Jacksonville Jaguars||5||10||0|
|15. New York Jets||4||11||0|
|16. Oakland Raiders||3||11||0|
AFC Playoff Matchups Based on Current Standings
No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs (Bye)
No. 2 New England Patriots (Bye)
No. 6 Indianapolis Colts vs. No. 3 Houston Texans
No. 5 L.A. Chargers vs. No. 4 Baltimore Ravens