Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/28/12

NEW ORLEANS - NOVEMBER 30: Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates after Laurence Maroney scored a 2-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Louisana Superdome on November 30, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
The Patriots are still holding out hope for a first-round bye as they head toward the postseason, but all likelihood points toward Tom Brady and company hosting a game on wild card weekend. Unless the Texans or Broncos fall flat on their faces this weekend — which is possible considering Houston’s visit to Indianapolis and Denver’s struggles with Kansas City earlier this season — then there will be football at Gillette Stadium next weekend. So, that means either the Cincinnati Bengals or Indianapolis Colts will be making the trip to New England. Both teams clinched their playoff berths with wins last Sunday and are on scorching-hot streaks right now. The Bengals have won six of their past seven, including a nail-biting victory over the division rival Steelers on Sunday in a game that had a playoff feel to it. Andy Dalton has played ball lately, scoring 15 total touchdowns (12 passing, three rushing) and throwing five interceptions over their past seven games. Meanwhile, the Cincy defense has really kicked it up a notch, allowing just 12 points per game over that seven-game stretch. As for the Colts, they’ve pulled out four of their past five games and eight of their past 10. Andrew Luck looks like Rookie of the Year royalty, Reggie Wayne has seen a youthful resurgence and the return of head coach Chuck Pagano from leukemia can only serve to further inspire this team. So, if the Patriots must play a game in New England next weekend, who would you rather see on the other sideline? Take Our Poll Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

49ers OC: Kaepernick didn’t regress as much as believed

John Calipari may coach Kentucky until he is 73

Eric Berry cleared to practice with Chiefs

WATCH: Pedro Martinez's number retired in ceremony

Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia suspended 162 games for PEDs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brady told staff to hand copy of game ball rules to officials

Phillies agree to send Jonathan Papelbon to Nationals

Report: Russell Wilson to end contract negotiations Friday

Report: Brady authorizes NFLPA to appeal his case in court

NFL, NFLPA reduce Le'Veon Bell suspension

Tim Brown: Cardinals new coach Jen Welter is 'tough as nails'

Luther Campbell jabs FSU coach over decommitment

WATCH: Royals infielders combine for incredible play

Cowboys DE Jeremy Mincey to hold out of training camp

Terry Bollea's self-destruction: Hulkamania as social construct

Lou Holtz: ND has 'legitimate chance' to make playoff

Golfer Billy Hurley III asks for help finding missing father

Dismissed Clemson DE tweets he hates cops after arrest

Smith to report to camp, no charges filed for child abuse

Angels stockpile outfielders, acquire Murphy and DeJesus

Penguins trade Brandon Sutter to the Canucks

Ronda Rousey willing to fight Miesha Tate a third time

Mexico fires coach for alleged brawl after Gold Cup win

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NFL upholds Tom Brady's suspension, legal battle likely

Cardinals hire first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Seau family: HOF broke their word

Kobe to see time at power forward next year

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel

Galette appears to unload on Payton

Dez Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

Top 10 CFB coaches on the hot seat

Was Popovich close to retiring last year?

Kyle Busch continues historic run with Brickyard win

WATCH: Mike Trout HR lands in 'Trout Net'

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker