The New England Patriots dropped their meaningless final regular season game to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at Gillette Stadium and now await their opponent to be decided next week in the Wild Card round. As the top seed, the Patriots will host the lowest-seeded team which emerges from the weekend match-ups. The only team that New England is assured of not facing is the number three seed Pittsburgh Steelers who would be an intriguing opponent for the Denver Broncos in the Divisional Playoff round. That means New England could host either Cincinnati, Baltimore, or Indianapolis.
Of the match-ups, Terrell Suggs and the Baltimore defense historically present the most problems for Tom Brady and the New England offense. The Ravens have to overcome their division rival Pittsburgh on the road to get to New England, however. Both Cincinnati and Indianapolis have lost to New England by more than 20 points already in 2014, and the Colts were defeated soundly by a much-inferior Patriots team in 2013 in the divisional round. The Patriots are the clear favorite in the AFC still, but the match-ups this weekend should add intrigue to the playoffs going forward.
Beyond the playoffs, there is much to review and react to for the Patriots; however, this week the “Pick Six” will split between the Patriots and the rest of the AFC East as Buffalo, Miami, and the Jets are all once more on the outside looking in during the playoffs.
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