The New England Patriots had a chance to clinch a playoff berth in Week 13, but an unsightly loss to the Houston Texans prevented that.
However, Tom Brady and Co. will be back in the proverbial saddle this week when they host the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday at Gillette Stadium. And thanks to some results elsewhere in the AFC this past Sunday, the Patriots’ path to a postseason berth is a little bit easier in Week 14.
Here are the five ways in which New England can punch its ticket to the playoffs this weekend.
The Patriots beat the Chiefs on Sunday. Simple as that.
The Patriots tie against the Chiefs and the Pittsburgh Steelers lose to the Arizona Cardinals.
The Patriots tie against the Chiefs and the Houston Texans lose or tie to the Denver Broncos.
The Patriots tie against the Chiefs and the Tennessee Titans lose or tie to the Oakland Raiders.
The Texans lose to the Broncos, the Indianapolis Colts lose or tie to Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Titans-Raiders game ends in a tie.
It’s worth remembering that the Patriots winning the AFC East is no sure thing at the moment. The Buffalo Bills trail the Pats in the standings by just one game, with the two sides set to meet in Week 16. If the Patriots stumble too many times down the stretch, they could squander the division for the first time since 2008.
Kickoff for Chiefs-Patriots is set for 4:25 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images