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)
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