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How the Patriots, Steelers and Dolphins can clinch a berth



Must-win for the Patriots?

Not so fast.

After Pittsburgh’s win Sunday night, the Pats can make the postseason next weekend in three scenarios:

A) a win

B) a tie and a Dolphins loss or tie and a Steelers loss or tie

C) a loss, a Dolphins loss, a Steelers loss and a Titans loss or tie

The Pats will kick off at Buffalo on Sunday at a time to be determined. The Patriots can only clinch the No. 7 seed in the AFC and will be rooting for the Jaguars on Saturday night versus Tennessee. Jacksonville is currently slated as a 7-point home favorite.

On Sunday, Miami will host the Jets as 3-point home favorites, though that spread could change depending on the availability of Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa missed Miami’s 23-21 loss at New England on Sunday with a concussion, and backup Teddy Bridgewater left early with a finger injury on his throwing hand. Bridgewater will reportedly miss the rest of the season, leaving third-stringer Skylar Thompson potentially in line to start against the Jets.



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