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Patriots playoff picture: New England’s updated AFC wild-card chances after Week 15 loss to Raiders

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The Patriots hurt their AFC playoff chances with a devastating 30-24 Week 15 road loss to the Raiders. New England fell to 7-7 in its quest for a wild-card berth.

Here’s a breakdown of the Patriots’ current position in the playoff picture and their outlook going into the final three weeks of the 2022 NFL regular season:

Where do the Patriots stand in the AFC playoff picture?

The Patriots started Week 15 with the No. 7 seed and the third AFC wild-card position. They fell to No. 8 and out of the playoff picture, now a full game behind the victorious Chargers (8-6) and the losing Dolphins (8-6).

MORE: Updated AFC, NFC playoff picture for Week 15 of 2022 season

The Patriots remain ahead of the No. 9 Jets (7-7), over whom they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker by virtue of a season sweep. They are only one game ahead of a pack of 6-8 teams that includes the Raiders, Jaguars, Browns and Steelers.

What playoff tiebreakers are in the Patriots’ favor?

The Patriots have their two wins over the Jets and wins over the Steelers (in Week 2) and Browns (in Week 6). They lost to the Raiders and lost their first meeting with the Dolphins in Week 1, with the rematch at New England looming in Week 17.

MORE: Botched lateral sinks Pats | ‘Trying to be a hero’

With the loss to the Raiders, the Patriots’ conference record dropped to 5-4. That’s worse than the Dolphins (6-4) and Chargers (6-4), even with the Jaguars and better than the Jets (5-5).

What games are left on the Patriots’ schedule?

The Patriots have a brutal Week 16 home game against the red-hot, AFC North-leading Bengals (10-4), winners of six consecutive games. Then the Patriots play the Dolphins at home in Week 17 and close with the AFC East-leading Bills (11-3) on the road in Week 18.

New England is facing three superior and motivated teams in Cincinnati, Miami and Buffalo. That’s why the meltdown in Las Vegas is bound to be costly.

How good are the Patriots’ playoff chances now?

The Patriots are facing a less-than-20-percent chance of making the playoffs. It would have been around 50 percent had they beaten the Raiders. Now, there’s a much greater chance of the Patriots losing out to finish 7-10 instead of sneaking in as the seventh seed and the last wild card.


Credit: sportingnews.com

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