|Thank you Mr. Suisham|
So you were thinking the Patriots would still be the third seed in the NFL's playoff race because of their head-to-head loss to the Ravens? Me too.
We were both wrong.
The Patriots - 23-16 winners over Miami on Sunday- and the Ravens - 23-20 losers to Pittsburgh are both 9-3. But because the Broncos are also 9-3, the three-way tie means that head-to-head is no longer the first tiebreaker. In the event of a three-way tie, conference record becomes the tiebreaker used and the Patriots (8-1 in the AFC) have a leg up on the Broncos (6-2) and Ravens (8-2).
Well, that's a nice surprise.
After the Charlie Batch led Pittsburgh Steelers shocked the league by beating the Ravens at home (The Ravens had it coming after winning so many games they should've lost) the Patriots finally got a big break.
I had no idea that that was how it worked, I thought that the Pats needed Baltimore to lose one more. I guess there is an advantage to losing to two teams in the NFC West after all.
Of course, this doesn't mean that the Patriots are in the clear. Both the Ravens and Broncos gained one of their AFC losses to the Houston Texans. That just happens to be the team the Patriots will face next.
Either way, I'll take the second seed. The Ravens loss puts the Patriots in a much more desirable position than we were looking at just a couple of days ago. A second seed means a bye week and that means rest for the supremely banged up Patriots.
To sum it up, Patriots fans should still be rooting against Baltimore, 100% of the time. They should also be rooting for Peyton Manning. As long as the Ravens and Pats teams stay with the same record there's a chance Denver could fall out and the Patriots could lose that tie-breaker for the second seed.
This puts the Patriots in a better position but there's still the urgency to win out down the final stretch.