BOSTON (CBS) — The AFC playoff teams are set, but the seeding is yet to be determined, so the NFL has moved the Patriots’ regular-season finale against the Dolphins to 4:25 p.m.
The Patriots were scheduled to host the Dolphins on Dec. 30 at 1 p.m. However, if Houston loses to Indianapolis at 1 p.m., the Patriots will be playing to win and earn a bye at 4:25 p.m.
If the Texans do beat the Colts, much of the drama will be taken away from the Patriots-Dolphins matchup.
The Patriots’ other road to a first-round playoff bye could come with a win over Miami and a Denver loss at home to Kansas City. The Chiefs, though, are 2-13 and are 1-6 on the road, while the Broncos are 6-1 at home, so such an upset would be highly unlikely. That game is scheduled to kick off at 4:25 p.m. ET as well.
As it stands now, the Patriots sit in the No. 3 spot in the AFC, but depending on next week’s outcomes around the league, they could finish anywhere from No. 1 (NE win, DEN and HOU losses) to No. 4 (NE loss, DEN/HOU/BAL wins).
If the Patriots finish as the No. 3 seed, they will host the Cincinnati Bengals in the wild-card round on the first weekend of January. If the Patriots finish as the No. 4 seed, they’ll host the Colts.