Here's what Patriots' chances of No. 1 seed would be with win over Titans


One Week 12 game that will have a major impact on the NFL playoff picture is the New England Patriots hosting the Tennessee Titans on Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.

The Titans are the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a 8-3 record as AFC South leaders. The Patriots have won five games in a row and occupy the No. 3 seed sitting atop the AFC East.

If the Patriots beat the Titans, they will overtake Tennessee in the AFC standings via the head-to-head tiebreaker. A Titans win would give them a two-game lead over the Patriots and make it pretty hard for New England to finish ahead of Tennessee at the end of the season, especially with only five games remaining after Sunday.

Perry: Patriots staying motivated with '2-4 mindset'

How will the outcome of this pivotal game impact the Patriots' and Titans' chances of earning the No. 1 seed? Here are the odds for both teams, via Football Outsiders.

The No. 1 seed is more important under the new playoff format that went into place last season because it's the only team that receives a first-round bye. The other six teams all have to play on Wild Card Weekend. The No. 1 seed has to win just two home games to advance to the Super Bowl.

Sunday's game against the Titans isn't the only important matchup for the Patriots in the coming weeks. They also play the Bills twice -- in Buffalo in Week 13 and in New England in Week 16 -- and those games likely will determine which team wins the AFC East.


We're going to find out if the Patriots truly are a legit contender in the AFC over the next five weeks when the toughest remaining part of their schedule is played out.

Patriots Talk Podcast: The Aftermath: Patriots put the clamps on the Falcons | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube