There are no fewer than six teams in the running for the second AFC wild-card spot, but after their come-from-behind win over Denver Sunday night, the Patriots put even more distance between themselves and those clubs — in position to claim one of the conference’s two opening-round byes.
Now 8-3 with five games to play, the AFC East leaders are the No. 2 seed behind the 9-2 Broncos, who lead the AFC West. The 7-4 Colts are the No. 3 seed as AFC South leader, and AFC North front-runner Cincinnati, also 7-4, is the fourth seed.