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Patriots clinch playoffs bye as second seed in AFC

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff  December 29, 2013 04:08 PM

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FOXBOROUGH – The Patriots clinched the second seed in the AFC playoffs and a first-round bye by virtue of their 34-20 victory over the Buffalo Bills Sunday.

The Patriots will face the Chiefs, Colts, or Bengals in the divisional round of the playoffs on Jan. 11 at Gillette Stadium at 8:15 p.m..

The Denver Broncos are the No. 1 seed and earned the other first-round bye after crushing the Raiders in Sunday.

The Wild-Card Round games are as follows:
Saturday, Jan. 4
Chargers at Colts, 4:35 p.m., NBC
Saints at Cowboys/Eagles winner, 8:10 p.m., NBC

Sunday, Jan. 5
Chargers at Bengals, 1:05 p.m., CBS
49ers at Packers, 4:40 p.m., Fox

The Divisional Round games are as follows
Saturday, Jan. 11
TBA at Seahawks, 4:35 p.m., FOX
TBA at Patriots, 8:15 p.m., CBS

Sunday, Jan. 12
TBA at Panthers, 1:05 p.m., FOX
TBA at Broncos, 4:40 p.m., CBS

The Chargers secured the final playoff spot with an overtime win over the Chiefs, who rested many of their starters, including quarterback Alex Smith.

The Colts beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 30-10 Sunday and the Bengals beat the Ravens 34-17 to keep New England's Sunday afternoon game against the Buffalo Bills interesting, but the Patriots controlled their own destiny. They could have fallen to the No. 4 seed with a loss.

The AFC Seeds are as follows:
1. Broncos (13-3)
2. Patriots (12-4)
3. Bengals (11-5)
4. Colts (11-5)
5. Chiefs (11-5)
6. Chargers (9-7)

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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