Patriots play in Super Bowl 2017

Patriots play in Super Bowl 2017

Patriots play in Super Bowl 2017

Will Patriots play in Super Bowl. With Monday night’s win over the Ravens, the Patriots have strengthened their hold on the top spot in the AFC. If New England wins out, the road to the Super Bowl goes through New England.

The Ravens, on the other hand, have fallen a game behind the Steelers in the AFC North and a game behind in the wild card race as well. They now have an uphill climb to the postseason.

Here’s how the playoff race looks with three weeks to go:

LEADERS
1. Patriots (11-2): As is so often the case, New England looks like the class of the AFC.

2. Chiefs (10-3): Kansas City owns the tiebreaker over the Raiders in the AFC West.

3. Steelers (8-5): Pittsburgh owns a one-game lead over Baltimore, with the Ravens coming to town on Christmas Day.

4. Texans (7-6): The Texans own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Titans in the AFC South.

5. Raiders (10-3): Oakland has to hope Kansas City stumbles, or else getting to the Super Bowl will require three road wins in January.

6. Broncos (8-5): Denver owns the tiebreaker over Miami, thanks to a better record in common games.

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN

7. Dolphins (8-5): With games remaining against the Jets and Bills, and then the Patriots potentially resting their starters in Week 17, the Dolphins still have a good chance of winning out, even without Ryan Tannehill.

8. Ravens (7-6): Now a game behind the Steelers, Baltimore may need to win out to make the playoffs.

9. Titans (7-6): Tennessee still has a Week 17 meeting with Houston that may decide the AFC South.

10. Colts (6-7): Sunday’s loss to the Texans probably ended the Colts’ playoff hopes.

11. Bills (6-7): Buffalo will miss the playoffs for the 17th consecutive season.

12. Bengals (5-7-1): Marvin Lewis doesn’t have to worry about a wild-card round exit this year.

13. Chargers (5-8): Last place in a good division is still last place.

14. Jets (4-9): Beating the 49ers in overtime isn’t much of an accomplishment.

15. Jaguars (2-11): Already clinched last place in the AFC South.

16. Browns (0-13): Already clinched last place in the AFC North.

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