BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots have dropped two straight, but clinching a playoff spot in Week 15 is as simple as it comes. Just win.
The Pats can clinch their spot in the postseason with a victory over the 1-12 Bengals in Cincinnati on Sunday. That’s all they need to head to the playoffs for an 11th straight season.
Like the Patriots, the Buffalo Bills will also clinch a playoff spot with a Week 15 victory. The 9-4 Bills visit the 8-5 Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football, before they clash with the Patriots in Foxboro in Week 16. Buffalo and Pittsburgh currently sit as the AFC’s Wild Card teams with three weeks left in the regular season.
The Patriots currently sit in the No. 2 seed in the AFC, trailing the Baltimore Ravens by one game. Baltimore can clinch a first-round bye with a win over the New York Jets on Thursday night and a Patriots loss. They’ll clinch the top seed in the AFC and home-field advantage throughout he playoffs with a win, a Patriots loss and a Kansas City loss or tie to the Denver Broncos.
At the moment, only Baltimore and Kansas City (AFC West champs) have clinched a playoff spot in the AFC.