Patriots playoff picture: How well New England is doing in the 2021 NFL wild card standings

The Patriots missed the playoffs for the first time in 12 seasons in 2020, ending their first season 7-9 in a long time without Tom Brady starting in midfield. It’s no surprise that coach Bill Belichick, with first-round rookie Mac Jones now his starting QB, has put New England on track to return to the AFC post-season after a year of hiccups.

Going into the game on Thursday night of Week 11 in Atlanta, the Patriots (6-4) have won four games in a row and five of their six games have been contested wilds. At the same time, with the defending champion AFC East Bills (6-3) falling at the end of the game, the Patriots also have a chance to regain the championship after finishing third behind the Dolphins last season.

Here’s a breakdown of the Patriots’ current position and their potential playoff path forward throughout the 2021 NFL season:

What is the Patriots’ current AFC playoff position in the NFL standings?

The Patriots, with their 6-4 record, will be the second of three AFC wilds in sixth place, sandwiched between the Steelers (5-3-1) and the Chargers (5-4) . They will move up to the top 5 seed and wild card by winning as the big favorites against the Falcons.

Before Week 8, the Patriots had a pretty weak track record, with two wins against the Jets and one against Texas. But since Week 8, they have added important wins over the Chargers and Browns. In addition to holding a head-to-head record against both of those teams, they also hold a strong 5-1 head-to-head record, helped by going 4-0 this season.

How tough is the remaining schedule and what important matches do they have left?

The combined record of the remaining Patriots opponents is 0.515. After the Falcons (4-5), they don’t face teams with a current losing record until the Jaguars (2-7) and Dolphins (3-7) face off in Weeks 17 and 18 to close. Season.

From the Falcons game, they will have a short goodbye before facing the AFC No. 1 Titans (8-2), coached by Belichick disciple Mike Vrabel, at home in Week 12. Then, The Patriots are going to Buffalo in Week 13, ahead. Goodbye weekend 14. That will help them regroup to go to the pesky Colts and store the Invoices.

What is the chance of winning an AFC main kick?

The most important matchup to achieve the simple goal of returning to the knockout stages is to beat the Titans, with the Colts coming in second. That assumes the Patriots won’t lose to the Jaguars at home or en route to the Dolphins by Brian Flores – who beat them in New England in Week 1.

The Patriots should be content to finish 3-1 in the conference and 8-2 on aggregate in the AFC game, which should give them a win over teams they don’t play for. They also won’t be helped by the threat of real wilds from the AFC South – especially if they beat the Colts – while the first-place teams in the AFC North and AFC West battle it out. Multiple division matches. remaining in the last two months of the year.

If the Patriots dance the Steelers on Sunday, they’ll want a chance to make it to the knockout stages with them, the Bengals and Raiders, as well as the Browns and Chargers. Recent hot form put New England in great shape in the second half.

What chance do the Patriots have to win the AFC East over the Bills?

The Patriots, who had yet to say goodbye, watched the Bills after only half the game. Assuming they run the business in Atlanta and Buffalo sends out to Indianapolis, that won’t change in Week 12.

The bill of exchange has very similar strength in terms of remaining schedule (.513). They still need to play the two NFC South teams that the Patriots lost, the Saints (on the way into Thanksgiving) and the Buccaneers (on the road in Week 14). They equalize that with the Panthers, Falcons and Jets – three teams to boost the Patriots’ record.

Patriots are tending to go 4-1 (10-5) in their remaining no-fee games. The Bills, with one less loss, had a good shot to finish 5-1 (11-4) in their non-Patriots games.

That would then put the burden on the Patriots to sweep their pair with Buffalo to end a game first, because a split would keep the Bills ahead. If the Bills don’t stick to their schedule, it could turn Week 16’s game between the New England teams into the division decider.

The Bills won the AFC East 3 games last season and outplayed the Patriots by 6 games. Now the Patriots are in a good position to make them sweat to earn a repeat slot, presumably in January.

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