How the AFC playoff image shifted in the course of the Patriots’ bye week

By Tom Westerholm

With the Patriots on their bye week Sunday, the AFC playoff image shifted barely however New England stays on the high.

Right here’s a better have a look at every little thing that occurred within the AFC playoff race as a complete and the way it affected the Patriots.

The Payments appeared misplaced within the first half and appeared on the verge of getting blown out because the Buccaneers jumped out to a 24-3 lead.

.@tracywolfson simply reported that Sean McDermott was "fighting phrases" and "actual emotional" making an attempt to elucidate what occurred to the Payments within the first half…

This man's been on tilt for 2 full weeks.

An enormous second-half rally despatched the sport to extra time, and Josh Allen turned a troublesome first-half efficiency into 308 yards as a passer. However after his protection received a cease to begin the extra time interval, Tom Brady led a 94-yard landing drive capped by 58-yard connection with Breshad Perriman to clinch the victory.

The Payments fell to 7-6 with video games in opposition to the Panthers, Patriots, Falcons, and Jets remaining. Their remaining opponents have a document of 23-29 (.442 successful proportion).

Baker Mayfield put collectively a strong afternoon and the Browns held on late to beat the Ravens. The massive story, nevertheless, was Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who left early with an ankle sprain.

Per ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the Ravens count on to know extra about Jackson’s standing going ahead on Monday.

The Ravens need to see how Lamar Jackson feels tomorrow earlier than any selections or exams go down.
I used to be informed they’re anticipating it to be a low ankle sprain, per supply. Right here is Jackson in a boot. pic.twitter.com/0TXXOwk4GV

The Ravens fell to 8-5. They face the Packers, Bengals, Rams, and Steelers to shut their season. These groups have a collective document of 30-19 (.612).

Justin Herbert threw for 275 yards on 23-for-31 passing with three touchdowns and nil interceptions and the Chargers crept nearer to the highest of the AFC, enhancing to 8-5.

The Chargers nonetheless have video games in opposition to the Chiefs and Broncos on their schedule, in addition to winnable contests in opposition to the Texas and Raiders — 24-28 as a bunch (.461).

The Titans picked off Trevor Lawrence 4 occasions and held the Jaguars scoreless in a snug win to keep up pole place with the Patriots. They improved to 9-4 and lead the Colts on the high of the AFC South by two video games.

The Titans have a pleasant schedule going ahead, with video games in opposition to the Dolphins and Texans to shut the season. They tackle the Steelers and 49ers within the subsequent two weeks. The groups the Titans will face on their remaining schedule have a collective document of 21-30 (.412).

Patrick Mahomes was 20-for-24 as a passer, and the Chiefs recorded their largest win over the Raiders within the historical past of the 2 franchises. The Chiefs improved to 9-4 however path the Titans and Patriots. They lead the Chargers by a sport within the AFC West with a head-to-head remaining. The Chiefs will even see the Steelers, Bengals, and Broncos (mixed 28-23, .549).

The 49ers held off the Bengals in a wild end. Joe Burrow related with Ja’Marr Chase for 2 touchdowns within the fourth quarter — together with one with 1:19 remaining — that despatched the sport to extra time, and the Bengals kicked a discipline purpose to begin the OT interval. However the 49ers answered by marching down the sphere, and Jimmy Garoppolo discovered Brandon Aiyuk for a 12-yard game-winning landing move.

The Bengals fell 7-6 with the loss. They shut their season in opposition to the Broncos, Ravens, Chiefs, and Browns (31-21, .596).

As for the Patriots, their ultimate 4 video games embody an away sport in opposition to the Colts (7-6, additionally on their bye this week), earlier than house video games in opposition to the Payments and Jaguars (2-11). They shut their season in opposition to the Dolphins (6-7). Their remaining schedule is 22-30 (.423) — solely the Titans have a better path by energy of schedule.

The Patriots and Colts kick off at 8:20 p.m. on Saturday.

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