Patriots 27, Dolphins 24: Patriots Clinch First-Round Bye With Big Second Half Comeback

From a terrible first half to a miraculous second, the Patriots overcame a 17-0 deficit to knock off the Dolphins and clinch a first-round bye in the playoffs.

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NFL Playoff Scenarios: New England Patriots Clinch First-Round Bye, Win Away From No. 1 Seed

Sunday's come-from-behind 27-24 victory over the Miami Dolphins not only clinched a first-round AFC playoff bye for the New England Patriots, but basically insured that the Pats will be the No. 1-overall seed in the playoffs. Meaning, the road to Super Bowl XLVI (46) will need to go through Foxborough, MA.

However, that playoff scenario isn't a sure thing. First, the Patriots need to beat the visiting Buffalo Bills in Week 17. If that happens then New England clinches the No. 1 seed. But, if the Bills do beat the Pats then the Baltimore Ravens would need to beat the Cincinnati Bengals; or the Pittsburgh Steelers, who own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Pats, will need to lose to the at the Cleveland Browns for New England to be No. 1.

AFC Playoff Picture

Division Leaders
New England Patriots (12-3) Clinched Division
Baltimore Ravens (11-4) Clinched Playoff Berth
Houston Texans (10-5) Clinched Division
Tied: Denver Broncos (8-7) and Oakland Raiders (8-7)

Pittsburgh Steelers (11-4) Cliched Playoff Berth
Cincinnati Bengals (9-6)

In The Hunt
Cincinnati Bengals (9-6)
Tennessee Titans (8-7)


Patrick Chung Injury Update: Patriots' Safety Should Play Saturday Vs. Dolphins

After missing the last six games because of a right foot injury, New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung is set to return to the playing field Saturday when the Pats visit the Miami Dolphins (1 p.m. ET on CBS). According to the Boston Globe Friday, Chung was seen in the locker room Wednesday, "hopping, running, and bouncing," and is expected to make his much anticipated return to a struggling Pats' secondary.

"It’s a day-to-day process,’’ Chung said, when asked about his rehab. "Just keep working, keep doing whatever I have to do to get better.’’

Was talking to the media in the locker room a good sign he might be playing tomorrow?

"You can think what you want of that,’’ Chung said. "I feel good and I’m working hard.’’

New England has used offensive player Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater as short-term fill ins.


For more Patriots coverage, visit our team page or our blog, Pats Pulpit.

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