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Broncos’ loss provides Patriots with chance to land No. 1 seed in AFC

12.13.13 at 12:53 am ET
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The Chargers’ win over the Broncos on Thursday night in Denver has opened the door for the Patriots in the AFC.

The Broncos drop to 11-3 with the defeat, and with the Patriots sitting a half-game back at 10-3 — and the tiebreaker in hand because of the victory over Denver last month — New England now controls its own destiny. If the Patriots are able to win all three of their remaining games, then they will secure the top seed in the AFC playoff picture.

It won’t necessarily be an easy road for New England, which has two games on the road (against Miami and Baltimore), but if the Patriots can pull it off, they will have home field as far as they advance through the AFC playoff chase.

Here’s a look at the latest AFC playoff standings:

Division leaders
1. Denver: 11-3 (clinched playoff berth)
2. Patriots: 10-3
3. Cincinnati: 9-4
4. Indianapolis: 8-5 (clinched AFC South)

Wild card
5. Kansas City: 10-3
6. Baltimore: 7-6

Still in the hunt
7. Miami: 7-6
8. San Diego: 7-7
9. NY Jets 6-7

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