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Breaking down Sunday’s action from Patriots perspective

11.18.13 at 12:21 am ET
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Taking a look at the Sunday action through a Patriots prism:

Bills 37, Jets 14: A Saturday night trip to Dave & Busters did no good when it came to building consistency for the Jets, as Buffalo was able to rise up at home and knock off New York. The Jets have now alternated wins and losses over the first 10 games of the season on the way to a 5-5 mark, and while they still sit in that No. 6 playoff spot, New York needs to start displaying some consistency down the stretch if it wants to be taken seriously as a playoff contender.

Bears 23, Ravens 20: More good news for New England, as the fact that Baltimore slips even further behind in the playoff chase means it is a step closer to elimination from the postseason picture. Considering the fortitude the Ravens showed down the stretch last season in fighting their way through December and into the playoffs, they should never be discounted. At the same time, they’re now one of six teams in the AFC sitting at 4-6, a game behind the Jets for that No. 6 playoff spot.

Bengals 41, Browns 20: Cincy moved to 7-4 and took another step toward the AFC North crown with a relatively win over its interstate rivals. The Bengals, who snapped a two-game losing skid that saw them drop back-to-back overtime decisions, currently sit at No. 4 in the playoff picture, and are just a game behind New England in a suddenly close race. (Indy, which beat the Titans on Thursday, sit a half-game behind the Patriots.) The Browns are part of the morass at 4-6.

Dolphins 20, Chargers 16: The embattled Dolphins (we should think about collectively replace “Miami” with “embattled” going forward, considering that’s how everyone identifies them these days) posted an impressive win after a relatively miserable week, hanging on to beat the Chargers. Their win combined with the Jets loss to the Bills, has both teams sitting at 5-5, 2 1/2 games in back of the Patriots heading into Monday night’s action. Meanwhile, the Chargers join the whole host of AFC teams at 4-6, sitting just outside the current playoff picture.

Broncos 27, Chiefs 17: Denver dealt Kansas City its first loss of the season Sunday night in Colorado, leaving both teams theoretically tied for the top spot in the AFC playoff race with identical 9-1 records. The Broncos will take the No. 1 seed because of their Sunday night win over the Chiefs, which means the Chiefs (because they’re in the same division as the Broncos) are bumped all the way down the list to No. 5, and a wild card spot.

For the complete AFC playoff picture, this is an excellent page worth bookmarking.

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