Playoff scenarios

Given the results of Week 16 of the NFL season, highlighted by the Patriots’ 47-7 triumph over the Cardinals, the Seahawks’ 13-3 victory over the New York Jets, and the Dolphins’ 38-31 win over the Chiefs, here are the playoff scenarios for New England:

In any remaining scenario, the Patriots must defeat the Bills Sunday in Buffalo.

  • To earn a wild-card berth, the Patriots will need to beat the Bills and the Ravens (10-5) to lose to — or tie — the Jaguars (5-10) at home in the season finale.
  • To win the AFC East, the Patriots will need the Dolphins (10-5) to lose to — or tie — the Jets (9-6) on the road in the season finale.

If the Patriots win the division, they will host a first-round playoff game at Gillette Stadium against the sixth-seeded wild card team, which will likely be the Ravens.

If the Patriots earn the wild-card berth, they will travel for a first-round playoff game against the winner of the AFC East.

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