Right now, the Patriots would not have a top two seed and and would miss out on a first round bye. Obviously, as the Giants and Packers have shown - that's not a guaranteed trip to the Super Bowl. Still, with a team as beat up as the Patriots, an extra week off could do a world of good.
The Ravens and Texans are ahead of the Patriots in the standings obviously, and they both have won in the flukiest fashion this week.
The Texans beat the Lions because of that Justin Forsett touchdown where he was clearly down. Schwartz challenged it, which you can't do, and thus the touchdown that wasn't a touchdown was upheld.
Then in the Ravens vs San Diego game, the Ravens converted a 4th and 29 at their own 37 on their game tying drive to send it into overtime.
Honestly, both of those wins have to be chocked up to a total fluke. It's been so frustrating to watch. With both of these teams somehow finding ways to come out of should-be losses with wins, it makes you wonder if the Patriots will ever get a chance to catch up to them in the standings.
There's still five games left, and while the Patriots have two tough games against the Texans and 49ers left, there is still a chance they could earn a first round bye. However, it's starting to look less and less likely.