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NFL playoff picture: Who to root for in Week 18 if you are a New England Patriots fan

Week 18 is here and the New England Patriots are in 5th place in the playoff picture. Who should Patriots fans root for to help their chances?

Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots calls a play in the first half of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium on January 02, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images

Sunday update: The Patriots fell to the Dolphins, which means they can’t get any higher than a No. 5 seed. They will need the Raiders to lose or tie tonight for that to happen. If the Raiders end up winning, the Patriots get the No. 6 seed.

The New England Patriots take on the Miami Dolphins in Week 18 to close out the 2021 regular season. The Pats still have an outside shot at winning the AFC East division, though they’ll need some help from a rival. Otherwise, the Pats will need to go through the playoffs all on the road.

Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets

It probably pains you to hear this but you’re going to have to root for the Jets. If New York pulls off the upset and the Pats beat the Dolphins, New England would win the AFC East.

The Bills are 16-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns

The Patriots can win in Week 18 and still move up a bit in the AFC playoff picture. If the Bills and Bengals both lose, the Patriots would jump up to the 3-seed in the conference. There’s also a wild chance that if the Patriots win and the Bills, Bengals, Chiefs and Titans all lose that New England would clinch the 1-seed given their conference record. Cincy is expected to rest most of its offensive players and starters.

The Bengals are 6-point underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans

The Titans lost to the Patriots head-to-head this season and among the teams at 11-5 ahead of New England. If the Titans lose to the Texans — plus the Bills and Bengals — the Patriots can move up to the 2-seed.

The Titans are 10.5-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook.