BOSTON (CBS) — In the AFC, the road to Super Bowl LII goes through Foxboro.
The Patriots on Sunday wrapped up a 13-3 season with a 26-6 win at home over the Jets, locking down the No. 1 seed in the AFC in the process.
The Steelers also finished the season with a 13-3 record but they will be the No. 2 seed in the AFC, after losing to the Patriots head-to-head. That means if the two teams are to meet in the AFC Championship Game, it will take place at Gillette Stadium. If the Patriots are to play another game this season anywhere else, it will be in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis.
It was not the greatest game of the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era, but it was more than good enough against an inferior Jets team. The Patriots finished the year with a 5-1 record against divisional opponents.
This marks the sixth time in the last 11 years that the Patriots have earned the No. 1 seed in the AFC (2007, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2016). The Patriots made the Super Bowl in five of those six years, winning championships twice — in 2014 and 2016.
Under Bill Belichick, the Patriots also secured the No. 1 seed in the AFC in 2003 with a 14-2 record. That team, too, went on to win the Super Bowl.
This year also marks the seventh time in the last 15 years the Patriots have won 13 or more games in a season under Belichick.
The Patriots will have a first-round playoff bye. They will host a playoff game on divisional weekend (Jan. 13-14) against a yet-to-be determined opponent.