Playoff scenarios after early games

December, 29, 2013
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Kickoff is drawing near at Gillette Stadium, and the Patriots now know that they will have to beat the Bills in order to secure a top-two seed in the AFC, as both the Colts and Bengals won their earlier games.

Below is a look at three playoff scenarios still in play for the Patriots.

They are the first seed in the AFC with a win and a Broncos LOSS.
They are the second seed with a win and a Broncos WIN.
They are the fourth seed with a LOSS.

Here are the latest playoff standings:

Division winners
1. z - Denver: 12-3 (clinched top-two seed)
2. z - New England: 11-4
3. z - Cincinnati: 11-5
4. z - Indianapolis: 11-5

Wild-card standings
5. x - Kansas City: 11-4 (locked into the five seed)
6. San Diego: 8-7

Still in the hunt
7. Pittsburgh: 8-8
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.



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