Originally written on Foxboro Blog  |  Last updated 11/19/14
With ten games remaining, have the 3-3 Patriots played themselves out of a bye-week, or do they still have a real chance at catching the 5-1 Ravens or Texans for one of the AFC's top two spots? Jason: Normally I'd be concerned, but both the Texans and the Ravens suffered ball-busting injuries last week. I'm not even sure if Baltimore will win their division without Webb, Lewis and Suggs. And even worse, Flacco is still healthy. If the Pats beat the Texans later this year, they'd only need to make up one more game. That's still doable. Stephen: It's still far too early in the season to count out the Patriots. The Ravens suffered two serious injuries on defense, losing Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb for the season, and stars Ed Reed and Haloti Ngata are banged up, too. I expect the Ravens to fall back a bit because of the lack of depth on defense and I still don't trust Joe Flacco. The Texans have also been exposed as one-dimensional on offense and also suffered a huge injury in losing linebacker Brian Cushing. Don't count out Tom Brady and Co. just yet. Derek:  Before the Ravens had their myriad of injuries, I would have said the chances were very, very slim.   Yes, it's still early in the season, and yes, you have to believe the Patriots will find a way to get themselves in the mix, but realistically, the odds were highly stacked against them. At 3-3, the Patriots are essentially three games behind Baltimore since the Ravens own the head-to-head tie-breaker.  If the Ravens finished 7-3 the rest of the way, the Patriots would have needed to go 10-0 to leap frog them in the standings.  That 10-0 finish would include wins over Houston and San Francisco, as well as a 6-0 record in the division, which the Brady/Belichick Patriots have managed to accomplish all of once in 11 seasons.  If the Pats lost a single game alone the way, suddenly, you'd need Baltimore to finish a pedestrian 6-4, which seemed highly improbable before they were hit with the injury bug.  As for the Texans, you can argue that if the Patriots win their Week 10 match-up with Houston, they would only need to make up one other game along the way.  That's certainly possible, but again, you're assuming that New England wins against a very good team and manages to outplay Houston and their cake-walk of a division schedule.  Prior to the Raven's injuries, I would have put the Ravens out of reach, and have guessed the Patriots would have needed to finish 9-1 or possibly 10-0 to overcome Houston.  Now with Lewis and Webb out, it's hard to say how the Ravens will respond.  If the Pats take care of business, the door had been potentially left open for them to sneak back to the top.  Still, it will take near perfection from here on out to do so.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Clint Trickett retires due to concussions, hid two

Drew Stanton likely out for the year, postseason included

Byron Scott: ‘Idiots’ think Lakers are better team without Kobe

Undrafted QB Connor Shaw to sign with Browns, likely start

Report: Alex Smith out Week 17 with lacerated spleen

Belichick: Garoppolo has better understanding of NFL

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lionel Hollins: 'Honored and blessed to coach Kevin Garnett'

Curt Schilling gives Johnny Manziel advice on Twitter

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

Andre Johnson willing to take pay cut with Texans?

Mets star David Wright reaches out to sons of slain NYPD officer

Video: Rudy Gay tosses half-court alley-oop to McLemore

WATCH: Craig Sager is touched by outpouring of support during leukemia fight

Hiroki Kuroda returns to Japan, ditches Yankees

Kevin Garnett: ‘Very weird’ to see Celtics without Rajon Rondo

Report: New Jersey Devils fire head coach Peter DeBoer

Mark Richt confirms Todd Gurley will leave UGA for NFL

Frank Gore: Colin Kaepernick is 'not broke'

The story of Morgan Bulkeley and birth of National League

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things the world learned about the NBA on Christmas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things learned about NBA on X-Mas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Year's most notable sports media stories

'Roberto Gronkowski wishes fans Feliz Navidad

Are the Seahawks back on track?

Wright reaches out to slain officer's sons

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Dan Le Batard sums up Miami's relationship with LeBron

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.