Although the Patriots did not play, they got plenty of help this weekend as many of the AFC playoff contenders lost and further increased the Patriots odds of clinching another first round bye.
Thanks to key losses by the Buffalo Bills to the Cleveland Browns 19-16 , Indianapolis Colts losing in a a 16-12 shocker to the Miami Dolphins 16-12, and the Kansas City Chiefs last minute 35-32 loss to the Tennessee Titans, the Patriots find themselves in a greater situation. The Patriots now have a two game lead over both the Bills and Texans for the #2 seed, and remain in the top slot with a one game lead over Baltimore. Nothing wrong with a little breathing room. This could come in key with a tough stretch of games coming up during the next few weeks. The Pats will also have matchups with the Texans, Chiefs and Bills so that will also help against potential tie breakers in the unlikely chance the Pats should lose one of those games.