FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A 12-4 regular season earned the New England Patriots their fifth straight AFC East crown and a first-round bye in the playoffs, as they finished as the second seed in the AFC behind the Denver Broncos.
That means the Patriots won't play their first playoff game until the divisional round of the postseason (Jan. 11 or 12), which will be held at Gillette Stadium.
There are three teams that the Patriots could face: the Bengals, Colts or Chiefs. (They'll face the highest remaining seed of those teams.)
Below is a look at the final AFC standings:
1. Denver: 13-3
2. New England: 12-4
3. Cincinnati: 11-5
4. Indianapolis: 11-5
5. Kansas City: 11-5
6. San Diego: 9-7
The wild-card round games, held next weekend, are as follows:
3. Cincinnati vs. 6. San Diego
4. Indianapolis vs. 5. Kansas City