It was not a good week for the Patriots and Texans, as they both took a hit in the playoff standings.
On Sunday of Week 14, the Houston Texans blew a huge opportunity at home, and the New England Patriots blew a game that they all but had wrapped up and in the bag.
And thanks to those missed opportunities, both teams took a big hit in the playoff picture.
The Texans dropped a home game to their division rival Indianapolis Colts 24-21 to fall to 9-4 and snapping their nine-game winning streak. Meanwhile, the Patriots lost in Miami after the Dolphins pulled off a miracle touchdown on the final play to win 34-33.
Here’s an updated look at the complete NFL playoff picture thus far:
1. Chiefs (11-2)
2. Patriots (9-4)
3. Texans (9-4)
4. Steelers (7-4-1)
5. Chargers (9-3)
6. Ravens (7-5)
1. Rams (11-1)
2. Saints (11-2)
3. Bears (8-4)
4. Cowboys (7-5)
5. Seahawks (7-5)
6. Vikings (6-5-1)
Though both Houston and New England should’ve beaten their Week 14 opponents, the loss hurt the Texans the most. Had they beaten the Colts, they would’ve moved into the No. 2 spot in the AFC, which would give them a first-round bye in the playoffs if they could hold it. They still have a chance at the two-seed, though, if they can beat the New York Jets next week and the Patriots lose in Pittsburgh.
Meanwhile, the victories for the Dolphins and Colts (both 7-6) kept them very much alive in the AFC wild card race.
As for the rest of the NFL playoff picture, the Kansas City Chiefs hung on to defeat the Baltimore Ravens in overtime, giving them a bigger cushion in the AFC by putting two games between themselves and the Patriots and Texans.
In the NFC, the New Orleans Saints (11-2) came back from a 14-3 deficit to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, keeping them right on the tail of the Los Angeles Rams (11-1). Los Angeles plays the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday Night Football, and that will be no easy win for them as they go up against Khalil Mack and Chicago’s nasty defense.
Should the Rams lose to the Bears, the Saints will take over as the No. 1 seed in the NFC, as they own the tiebreaker over Los Angeles.