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The Boston Globe

Sports

Patriots Notebook

Patriots’ playoff position looks strong

Win was crucial for potential bye

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.

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