With the Patriots sitting at 3-10, you might be thinking that they have no shot at the playoffs, but as it turns out, they can actually still get in!
The Patriots kept their slim postseason hopes alive on Thursday night by upsetting the Steelers, 21-18, in Pittsburgh.
With the win, the Patriots went from having the worst record in the AFC to having the worst record in the AFC... OK, so they didn't improve there, and at this point, it seems like it would take a Christmas miracle for them to make the playoffs, but the crazy thing is, it could actually happen. Although the Patriots are at the bottom of the AFC, they haven't been eliminated from the playoff race yet, which means, yup, there's still at least one scenario out there that will get them in.
The Patriots' chances of getting to the postseason are sitting at roughly .01% right now, but a chance is a chance.
Here's everything that needs to happen over the final five weeks of the season for the Patriots to get to the playoffs.
As you can see above, for the Patriots to make the postseason, it has to start with the Steelers and Texans both losing out.
As if that's not daunting enough, the Bills, Bengals and Broncos have to go 1-4, but that one win has to come in a very specific scenario. The Bills and Broncos have to beat the Chargers -- Denver plays them twice and can only win one of the two games -- and the Bengals have to beat the Steelers for their only win over the final five weeks.
If all of this DOES somehow happen over the final five weeks of the season, here's what the AFC playoff field would look like in our crazy scenario:
If this were to happen, it would make the Patriots the first team in NFL history to make the playoffs despite being three games under .500.
Although this scenario is fun to think about, the Patriots' playoff dream could die as soon as Sunday. If the Bengals beat the Colts or if the Texans beat the Jets, then New England will be eliminated from playoff contention.