Patriots clinching scenarios for Sunday, game will stay in 1 p.m. time slot

The Patriots are still in prime position to lock up the No. 1 seed in the AFC, even after a controversial loss to the New York Jets last Sunday.

All they have to do is beat the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. If they lose, they'd need the Chargers to beat the Broncos. Denver would lock up the No. 1 seed with a win and a Patriots loss.

There was growing speculation among the local media that the NFL might flex the Patriots-Dolphins tilt to 4:05 or 4:25 p.m. to coincide with the Broncos-Chargers game. This way, we'd know who will be the top seed within minutes of both games wrapping up.

A league spokesman shot that possibility down an hour ago, meaning the Patriots will still be playing at 1:00 p.m.

If the Patriots do indeed win, Denver wouldn't be able to rest its starters because there is still a possibility they could lose the AFC West to the Chiefs, who play the Oakland Raiders at home at 4:25.

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