The New England Patriots remain on the wrong side of the race for a berth in the 2023 NFL Playoffs, but they are not yet eliminated. The Patriots lost 22-18 to the Bengals in Week 16. They trailed 22-0 at one point and looked like they were going to make a game of it. They cut the lead to the final deficit and had two chances to grab a lead, but came up short both times. They dropped to 7-8 with the loss and are in eighth place in the overall AFC standings.
Patriots odds to make the playoffs: Yes +650, No -1100
New England did not help themselves, and it’s reflected in their odds. Prior to Week 16, they were +550 to make the playoffs and -750 to miss the playoffs. The Patriots are now tied with three other teams at 7-8, but holds the tiebreaker edge on all three. They swept the Jets and have a better conference record than the Titans and Steelers.
The Patriots host Dolphins in Week 17 but then have to travel to face the Bills in Week 18. Buffalo has clinched the AFC West but could face a must-win situation in the finale to clinch the No. 1 seed. The Bills are tied with the Chiefs and have the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Chiefs host Denver in Week 17, which is a likely win and thus would put the Bills in a position where they won’t be resting starters against the Patriots. Even if New England beats Miami in Week 17, they face a tough battle for a playoff spot in Week 18.