The Patriots will head into the final week of the season with a chance to win one of two first-round byes, and still are alive for the top seed and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
The Patriots survived an ugly performance in Jacksonville and beat the Jaguars, 23-16, to improve to 11-4 on the season. The Texans fell to 12-3 with a home loss to the surging 9-6 Vikings. The Broncos easily handled the Browns in Denver to match Houston at 12-3.
As a result, the Patriots can win the No. 1 seed next week with a win over the Dolphins at Gillette Stadium, a Denver loss at home to Kansas City and a Texans loss to the Colts in Indianapolis. That would give the Patriots, Broncos and Texans all records of 12-4 record, and the Patriots beat both teams in their head-to-head meetings.
The Patriots can still win a first-round bye if they beat Miami, and the Broncos or Texans lose, giving the Patriots the No. 2 seed. If the Patriots lose, they will not have a first-round bye and will be playing the weekend of Jan. 5-6. The Patriots would finish No. 3 if they beat Miami and Houston and Denver both win next week. The Patriots will also finish No. 3 if they lose and the Ravens lose in Cincinnati in Week 17. If the Ravens and Patriots finish tied at 11-5, the Ravens will be the No. 3 seed and the Patriots No. 4 based on Baltimore's 31-30 win on Sept. 23.
Cincinnati and Indianapolis both won on the road Sunday, clinching the final two playoff spots in the AFC. Both the Bengals and Colts will be wild cards as the Ravens clinched the AFC North with a win over the Giants in Baltimore. The Colts will enter the playoffs as the No. 5 seed while the Bengals will be the No. 6 seed based on common games.
Here are the AFC playoff seedings after Sunday's games:
1. Texans (12-3, AFC South champs, beat Broncos head-to-head)
2. Broncos (12-3, AFC West champs, lost to Texans head-to-head)
3. Patriots (11-4, AFC East champs)
4. Ravens (10-5, AFC North champs)
5. Colts (10-5, wild card No. 1)
6. Bengals (9-6, wild card No. 2)
Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.
Giardi and Price discuss the Tom Brady appeal getting overturned and Roger Goodell's victory tour. The guys can't believe the victory lap and some of his behavior. The more you listen to him, the more frustrating his behavior becomes.
Giardi and Price break down how the teams in the AFC East altered their futures after the NFL Draft weekend.
Danny Ainge joins Glenn and Christian to explain the Celtics draft process; and he also discusses the trade rumors that permeated the night.
Mut is flying solo the last hour, but he's giving reaction and analysis as the Celtics draft a power forward out of France by the name of Guerschon Yabusele and getting some early grades for the Celtics
Mut and Kirk are talking more about the Celtics pick of Jaylen Brown and can't seem to find anyone who thinks it's a good pick or can make a case for why the Celtics took him third overall.
Eduardo Rodriguez and the Sox stumbled in their 13-7 loss to the Rays. Mut recaps the game and takes your calls on all things Boston baseball.
Christian recaps the Red Sox 6-2 loss to the Rangers.
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Butch is joined by two-thirds of the Sunday Skate show in DJ and Pete. The guys discuss the problems with Bruins including leadership and grit, who should stay and who should go and if Claude is to blame.
The Red Sox needed a big start from a pitcher, and Porcello delivered. Glenn and Lou talk about last night’s win in Tampa and discuss what ERod needs to do while down in Triple A.
David Price is on the mound this afternoon in Tampa, but after last outing’s terrible performance, the pressure is on for him to perform. Glenn and Lou discuss Price and his need to take over a game.
Red Sox GM Mike Hazen joins Glenn and Lou to talk about what went into sending ERod down to Pawtucket, and what the trade market looks like at this point in the season.
Ugh. Dale and Michael after another crap-fest of a Red Sox game break it all down and listen in to John Farrell and David Price's post game comments.
We close the show out with some of the best cuts of the day.
Kirk Minihane sits down with John Tomase to talk about the current political landscape, John's desire to write about social issues, and of course Spygate is discussed.
Kirk Minihane is joined by one of his radio heroes, Artie Lange. They discuss everything from Artie's comedy career, his time with Howard Stern, his issues with drugs and prostitutes, and the comedy show to benefit slain Officer Ronald Tarentino Jr.
Jerry Thornton and "Uncle Buck" Adam Cormack break down the greatest season finale of all-time, the season 6 finale of Game of Thrones. Jerry and Uncle Buck debate if this season was the greatest season in television history.
Ben, Russ & Alex recap the 4-0 loss the USMNT suffered to Argentina in the COPA America Centenario semifinal. Then they catch up with the EURO's, and recap if their predicted winners are still in the tournament.
It's somewhat of a rarity on D&C, but the phone lines were open on Tuesday as the Kirk Minihane haters and MiniFans alike called in take him on.More from this show