Patriots

Patriots

The New England Patriots need a miracle to earn the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs.

The Miami Dolphins stunned the Patriots on Sunday with a 34-33 Week 14 win after a game-winning 69-yard touchdown as time expired. The touchdown included multiple laterals and a long final run by Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake.

The Patriots' loss, combined with the Kansas City Chiefs earning a come-from-behind overtime win against the Baltimore Ravens, puts New England (9-4) two games behind KC (11-2) for the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoff race. The Patriots own the tiebreaker over the Chiefs as a result of their Week 6 head-to-head win, but it's unlikely Kansas City loses twice over its final three games. 

It's quite possible the Chiefs lose to the Los Angeles Chargers at home next week. Traveling to Seattle to take on a Seahawks team still battling for a playoff berth could be tough, too. A season-finale at home against the struggling Raiders should be an easy win. So, while it's not a lock the Chiefs go 2-1 or 3-0 to end the regular season, they will be favored in each of these remaining matchups. 

The Patriots also need to take care of their own business down the stretch. They have a tough Week 15 game on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers. New England must beat the Steelers, as well as the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets at home to put themselves in position to secure the top seed.

 

The Pats were helped by the Houston Texans losing to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. The Texans dropped to 9-4 atop the AFC South, but the Patriots still are ahead of them for the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye as a result of their Week 1 win at Gillette Stadium. 

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