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Sunday, December 22, 2013
Patriots remain as No. 2 seed

By Field Yates

After defeating the Ravens on Sunday, the Patriots remain in second place in the AFC's playoff standings entering the season's final week.

The Patriots can clinch a first-round bye with a win at home next week against Buffalo, while a win combined with a Broncos loss at Oakland would give New England the top seed in the conference and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Below is a look at the updated playoff standings and the Week 17 scenarios the Patriots face.

Division leaders
1. z - Denver: 12-3 (clinched top-two seed)
2. z - New England: 11-4
3. z - Cincinnati: 10-5
4. z - Indianapolis: 10-5
(z = clinched division)

Wild card leaders
5. x - Kansas City: 11-4
6. Baltimore: 8-7
(x = clinched playoff berth)

In the hunt
7. Miami: 8-7
8. San Diego: 8-7

Week 17 scenarios:
The Patriots can clinch the first seed with: a win and a Broncos' loss
The Patriots can clinch at least the second seed with: a win or a Bengals' loss and a Colts' loss
The Patriots would earn the third seed with: a loss and a Bengals' win or Colts' a win
The Patriots would earn the fourth seed with: a loss and a Bengals' win and a Colts' win