Ravens' Win Is Bad News for Patriots

New England's playoff chances just got a little longer on Saturday night when Baltimore went on the road and beat the Cowboys. If Baltimore beats the Jaguars next week, which should be easier than beating Dallas in a must-win game for both teams, New England has no chance at a wild card spot as Baltimore would own the conference record tiebreaker.

The Ravens' win makes today's Bills-Patriots game a must-win, since a loss would eliminate any chance of the Patriots winning the division unless the Jets and Dolphins tie next week. Even if Miami and New York both lose this week, a 9-6 Patriots' team would be guaranteed of losing a tiebreaker to whichever team won next week's Dolphins-Jets game.

If there is any good news for the Patriots, it's that everything is simplified now. New England can treat their final two games as the beginning of the playoffs. If they lose either game, they are likely finished, so they know that there is no margin for error.

Ravens' Win Is Bad News for Patriots originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Sat, 20 Dec 2008 23:45:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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