The Patriots were no doubt sitting at home on Sunday cheering on a couple of rookie quarterbacks coming up big in Washington, DC.
Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins led the Redskins to an overtime victory over Joe Flacco and the Ravens, meaning the Patriots now control their own destiny for a first-round bye in the playoffs. Since Baltimore beat New England earlier in the season, the Ravens would have had the advantage if the playoff seeding came down to a head-to-head tiebreaker. Now that Baltimore has an extra loss over the Patriots, New England currently controls the tiebreaker over the Broncos, who also have three losses.
Obviously there’s still a lot of football left to play, but if the Patriots can beat the Texans, 49ers, Jaguars and Dolphins, they’ll get a first-round bye and home-field advantage guaranteed until at least the AFC Championship game. For the Patriots to grab the No. 1 seed away from the Texans, they’d have to finish with a better record, or beat the Texans and finish with identical records.