Here's How Patriots Can Clinch Playoff Berth in Week 15
The New England Patriots, sitting at 10-3 and at the top of the AFC East, have not yet clinched a playoff berth for the 2019 postseason. However, a simple formula in Week 15 will do just that for the Patriots.
How can New England clinch a playoff berth? It's simple:
Win or tie the Bengals.
If the the Patriots can defeat, or at the very least tie the 1-12 Bengals this Sunday, then the reigning Super Bowl champions with be the third team in the AFC to clinch a playoff berth (the Ravens and Chiefs have already clinched). This does not guarantee them a first-round bye, though.
If New England doesn't win their remaining three games, there is the potential for the Chiefs, Texans and/or Bills to jump them in the seedings.
New England faces the Bills in Week 16, which may be the most important game remaining on their schedule. A realistic scenario for the Patriots is they lose their game against Buffalo, the Chiefs win out, and the Bills win out, which would drop them all the way down to the no. 5 seed. However, if New England does win in Week 16 they can maintain possession of the no. 2 seed, barring they beat the Bengals in Week 15 and the Dolphins in Week 17. If they lose one of those games and the Chiefs win out, then they could drop down to the no. 3 seed and lose their first-round playoff bye.