With one week to go in the 2018 NFL regular season, there’s still a lot left to be determined for the playoffs. The Patriots future is up in the air, with the potential to end up with any of the top four seeds in the AFC.
The Pats currently hold the second seed after a victory over Buffalo and Houston’s loss to Philadelphia last weekend. A win against New York this weekend would guarantee them a first-round bye for the playoffs. That is the easiest and most likely scenario for New England heading into the postseason.
However, there are certainly other possibilities. While unlikely, the Patriots could end up with home field advantage in the AFC. Losses from both the Chiefs and the Chargers in week 17 would jump New England to the number one seed thanks to their tiebreaker over Kansas City.
The Patriots could also end up with the second seed even with a loss to the Jets. If the Pats lose, but Houston and Baltimore lose as well, then New England will still end up with a first-round bye.
In the end, the Patriots control their own destiny to a point. If they want a first-round bye, they need to take care of business against the Jets. If home field advantage is in the cards, then the football gods will work their magic.