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AFC playoff picture: Here's how Patriots' competition fared in Week 7

AFC playoff picture: Here's how Patriots' competition fared in Week 7

The AFC playoff picture was shook up Sunday despite the New England Patriots not playing their Week 7 game until Monday night.

The Baltimore Ravens earned an impressive road win over the 5-1 Seattle Seahawks to move up to the No. 3 seed in the conference. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson ran for 116 yards and a touchdown in the victory. Baltimore has a Week 8 bye before hosting the Patriots in Week 9 on "Sunday Night Football."

The Indianapolis Colts took over first place in the AFC South with a 30-23 win against the Houston Texans. Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett threw for 326 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. Indy's next four games are against teams with losing records. The Texans dropped from the No. 3 seed to the No. 6 seed as a result of this loss.

The Bills beat the winless Miami Dolphins to keep pressure on the Patriots in the AFC East. Buffalo is 7-2 in its last nine games dating back to last season, and both defeats came against the Patriots. 

The Kansas City Chiefs benefited from the Oakland Raiders losing to the Green Bay Packers. Kansas City's lead in the AFC West is now 1.5 games, but the Chiefs reportedly will be without star quarterback Patrick Mahomes for three to five weeks following the injury he suffered in Thursday night's win versus the Denver Broncos. 

The Chiefs remain the No. 2 seed in the AFC as a result of their Week 3 win over the Ravens. Head-to-head is the first tiebreaker for teams with identical records.

The Los Angeles Chargers' chances of reaching the playoffs took another hit with a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Chargers running back Melvin Gordon fumbled at the goal line in the final minute of the fourth quarter.

Here's a look at the updated playoff picture in the AFC after Sunday's Week 7 games.

1. New England Patriots, 6-0 (AFC East leader)
2. Kansas City Chiefs, 5-2 (AFC West leader)
3. Baltimore Ravens, 5-2 (AFC North leader)
4. Indianapolis Colts, 4-2 (AFC South leader)
5. Buffalo Bills, 5-1 (First Wild Card)
6. Houston Texans, 4-3 (Second Wild Card)

In the Hunt
Oakland Raiders, 3-3
Jacksonville Jaguars, 3-4
Tennessee Titans 3-4

Tom E. Curran's Patriots vs. Jets preview>>>

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Why Tom Brady picks 45 as the age he wants to play until

Why Tom Brady picks 45 as the age he wants to play until

Whenever Tom Brady is asked about when he plans on calling it a career, it comes back to one number: 45.

The New England Patriots quarterback, now 42, has mentioned on multiple occasions 45 as the age he'd like to play until. But why 45 and not, say, 44 or 46?

Brady explained Wednesday on WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni & Fauria" why he's always going with that specific number.

“I think I have always said 45 just because that’s a good goal to set because that is one that has been pretty hard to get to for most guys. I think you have to have goals — you have daily goals, you have yearly goals and you have long-term goals," Brady said. "I think for me it’s really just the love of football. I don’t know if or when I will ever not love it. That’s the thing.

"I don’t know, it’s just some people are maybe great guitarists, there’s great chefs, there’s great lawyers, there’s great artists, actors, you name it. I think if you really love it, why should you stop? You just love it. I don’t know how to explain it other than I love doing it and that is enough for me.”

At this stage of Brady's career, even as he continues to play at a high level, the six-time Super Bowl champion is constantly faced with questions about his future. Brady, who can become a free agent for the first time after this season, understands why it remains such a popular topic, and he isn't taking his ability to step onto the gridiron at age 42 for granted.

“I think it is a natural question for most athletes that are getting older," Brady said. "It’s not going to last forever, so at some point, it comes to an end and everyone wants to be the first one to predict it. I feel like I am just being honest with myself that I am going to do the best I can do. I feel like everything at this point is just gravy.

"The fact I get to go out and play professional football at 42 is pretty cool. I still love doing it and I still love the competition. I don’t know when that will ever leave. I don’t know if it will ever leave. I don’t know what factors will contribute, but I am trying to be in the moment and the thing about football is it is a contact sport. It’s not basketball, it’s not baseball — really any game could be your last game. I think it is good to have that perspective, too.”

Brady has the Patriots in a position to make yet another Super Bowl run as they enter Week 11 with an 8-1 record. They'll aim to come out of the bye week strong when they take on the Philadelphia Eagles in a Super Bowl 52 rematch on Sunday.

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Chris Long explains differences between 2016 Patriots and 2017 Eagles

Chris Long explains differences between 2016 Patriots and 2017 Eagles

Chris Long had spent most of his NFL career on losing teams. Then, he went and won back-to-back Super Bowl titles with the 2016 Patriots and the 2017 Eagles.

While the final result for both teams was the same, Long saw plenty of differences with the way Philadelphia went about their business compared to the Patriots. The former defensive end discussed in detail with Tom E. Curran in the latest Patriots Talk Podcast.

"The difference between New England and Philly was like, that was the first time [the Eagles have won the Super Bowl]," Long told Curran. "So whatever it was like when the Patriots won for the first time, that's what I walked into in Philly."

Long also touched on Lane Johnson's comments about Pats players "not having fun" in New England.

"In New England, they tend to do things a different way and it's the Patriot Way, but you also have had 'the GOAT [Tom Brady]' for 20 years and you've got 'The Hoodie' [Bill Belichick]," Long said. "So that continuity... and of course part of that is the way Bill does things and the way they've designed that organization.

"Every organization is different and some are more 'fun' than others. I also consider having a bunch of awesome teammates in New England a lot of fun and I thought winning was a lot of fun because for eight years, I was on crap teams."

You can hear everything Long had to say by listening to the Patriots Talk Podcast below.

Other topics on the show include Long's upcoming media company, "Chalk Media," how athletes deal with social anxiety, Colin Kaepernick's upcoming NFL workout, and Long's new NBA "side team."

Listen to the full episode below (Patriots/Eagles discussion begins at 24:31):

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