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NFL playoff picture: What does Patriots-Dolphins mean for AFC standings in Week 18

The Patriots face the Dolphins in Miami Gardens in Week 18. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball in the second 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 Dolphins defeated the Patriots on Sunday, which means the Patriots can’t get any higher than the No. 5. The patriots will need the Raiders to lose or tie against the Chargers tonight for that to happen. If the Raiders win, the Patriots get the No. 6 seed.

The New England Patriots fly south to take on the Miami Dolphins to cap off the regular season. This game is a rematch from Week 1 which saw rookie quarterback Mac Jones make his first career start, the Patriots took the 17-16 loss. Kickoff from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida is set for 4:25 p.m. ET with the game airing on CBS.

Patriots playoff picture

Current AFC standing

The Patriots were able to get back into the win column in Week 17 and they did it in a big way taking down the Jacksonville Jaguars 50-17. With a win this week, the Patriots have the chance to rise as far as the No. 2 seed. They also could fall as far down as the No. 7 seed, but at least they have a playoff spot already locked-in regardless of what happens this week. The Patriots are 3-2 in their final five games and are seeing momentum as they head into the playoffs.

Rest of the AFC playoff field

Titans (11-5) @ Texans (4-12)
Bengals (10-6) @ Browns (7-9)
Jets (4-12) @ Bills (10-6)
Colts (9-7) @ Jaguars (2-14)
Chargers (9-7) @ Raiders (9-7) Sunday Night Football
Chiefs beat the Broncos on Saturday night