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NFL playoff picture: Who to root for in Week 17 if you are a New England Patriots fan

Week 17 is here and the New England Patriots are on the edge of the playoff picture. Who should Patriots’ fans root for to help their chances?

Cincinnati Bengals v New England Patriots Photo by Nick Grace/Getty Images

SNF update: The Steelers beat the Ravens, which limits the Patriots chances of clinching a playoff berth if they lose to the Bills. If the Patriots lose and the Steelers beat the Browns or Dolphins beat the Jets, New England will miss out on the playoffs.

Results update: The Patriots beat the Dolphins to improve to 8-8. They now control their playoff fate, although it will require they beat the Bills in Week 18, which will not be easy. Buffalo has to play their starters if they want to clinch the No. 1 seed following the Chiefs Week 17 win over the Broncos. The Jets lost to the Seahawks and the Raiders lost to the 49ers, so the Pats could still get in with a Week 18 loss if Miami and Pittsburgh lose and Jacksonville wins in Week 18.


The New England Patriots sit at 7-8, just barely outside the bubble of playoff eligibility in the AFC heading into Week 17. They still have a chance to clinch a playoff berth in the coming weeks, given that a few scenarios come to fruition. The Pats face the Dolphins in Week 17 and the Bills in Week 18.

If the Patriots win out, they will clinch a spot in the postseason. They have to win over Miami this weekend to have a shot at the playoff, but if they lose to the Bills, they’ll still have a chance.

If you are a Patriots fan, you’ll have a few games you’ll be paying attention to as they look to improve their chances of a playoff berth. The outcomes of these games only matter if New England beats the Dolphins.

Jets vs. Seahawks

Results update: The Jets lost to the Seahawks and are officially eliminated from playoff contention.

Pats fans will be looking for a Seahawks win over the Jets in Week 17. The Jets sit just behind the Patriots in the AFC. They’ll need the Jets to then beat Miami in Week 18, as the Pats have the head-to-head advantage over New York. The Jets are two-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Raiders vs. 49ers

Results update: The 49ers beat the Raiders in overtime and Las Vegas is officially eliminated from playoff contention.

The Raiders have the head-to-head advantage over the Patriots, so New England fans will be looking for a Raiders loss at any point in the next two weeks. The good news for them is that Las Vegas has benched starting quarterback Derek Carr for the remainder of the season. The 49ers are 9.5-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Steelers vs. Ravens

Results update: Pittsburgh beat Baltimore to put some heat on the Patriots.

The Patriots will also need the Steelers to lose a game at some point in the next two weeks. If they end with the same record, the Pats have the head-to-head advantage. The Ravens are 2.5-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Jaguars vs. Texans

Results update: The Jaguars thumped the Texans to set up a Week 18 AFC South showdown for the division title. The Patriots can clinch a wild card berth thanks to their win over Miami, so losing this option is not a big deal at this point.

The Patriots will be looking for the Texans to beat the Jaguars, or for the Jaguars to beat the Titans in Week 18. They want the Jags to win their division, as the Pats have the conference record advantage over Tennessee, but not over Jacksonville. The Jaguars are three-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook.