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Patriots "clinch" strength of victory tiebreak over Bengals

We wrote a couple overly complicated posts this explaining that the Bengals could possibly pass the Patriots to become the third seed even if the Bengals lost.

That’s no longer true after early results Sunday.

The Patriots have clinched the strength of victory tiebreak over the Bengals.  (The Colts’ loss to the Bills was a big factor.)

That means that the Bengals will be the No. 3 seed in the AFC with a win over the Jets, and the No. 4 seed with a loss.

And that bit of information increases the odds that there will be at least one Week 17 rematch in the AFC next week.

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14 Responses to “Patriots "clinch" strength of victory tiebreak over Bengals”
  1. LiveNBreatheFootball says: Jan 3, 2010 5:33 PM

    The Colts laying down may have helped the Jets into the playoffs, and helped the Pats get a higher seed. So much for integrity of the game.

  2. blackglass says: Jan 3, 2010 5:33 PM

    Good luck, Bengals. I’m a Pats fan, so anyone beating the Jets is ok by me, even if it means we get the worse seed.

  3. Ned Mark says: Jan 3, 2010 5:33 PM

    I wonder if it’s really worth it for the Bengals to go after that 3rd seed? Second seed yah, but I don’t see a huge difference in the 3 and 4.

  4. Child_Please! says: Jan 3, 2010 5:45 PM

    I think your wrong

  5. Florio-is-a-tool says: Jan 3, 2010 5:48 PM

    Gregg, what in the hell have you just written? 4th paragraph makes no sense at all considering your headline.

  6. GT327 says: Jan 3, 2010 6:01 PM

    Actually, if GB, KC and Baltimore win and Tennessee loses, and if the Jets beat the Bengals tonight, then both the Patriots and the Bengals will have defeated opponents with a cumulative 70-90 record. This tiebreaker will be a tie in those circumstances.

  7. Gautam says: Jan 3, 2010 6:02 PM

    the Bengals can literally hand pick their opponent for next week!

  8. Deb says: Jan 3, 2010 6:14 PM

    @Ned Mark …
    Here’s the difference: If both the Pats and Bengals reached the conference championship, the third seed would host the game. For most teams, that would be a big get.

  9. Dirthead says: Jan 3, 2010 6:18 PM

    Play starters for 1Q, then sit the offense and play hard on D to get three free quarters of scouting on the Jets.

  10. afiresnake says: Jan 3, 2010 6:27 PM

    Wow, bulletin board material for Belichick. Colts are afraid of the Pats, want them to be No 3 seed, so that Colts avoid Pats in Div POs.

  11. this class sucks says: Jan 3, 2010 6:39 PM

    Does anyone else think its weird that the Pats played Tom and other starters the entire game until they were losing with about 2 min to go? They must have tanked it to set up a certain opponent. I am Steelers fan and think LaMar Woodly is wrong if he believes the Pats would tank a game just to keep the Steelers out. But I think teams tank games to set up a certain team they think they can beat all the time.

  12. TheWizard says: Jan 3, 2010 6:47 PM

    Pats didn’t tank it, Coach wasn’t going to subject Brady to continual 6 man blitzes in the last minutes of a (nearly) meaningless game for them.
    Plus, Hoyer showed a little spark when he played in the first half. If not for that holding penalty, he was driving them again, too.

  13. Deb says: Jan 3, 2010 7:08 PM

    I’m with TheWizard on this one. Do I wish he’d had Brady in for the final two minutes? Yes. But he never took out all the starters despite what happened to Welker. Given that Brady was coming off a season-ending injury–and that the guy who took him out was in the game–the fact that he put him back in at all said a lot. Hoyer had a rhythm going at the end, and if he could have completed a couple of passes, they could have pulled it out. I think they were playing to win.

  14. WornFlorio says: Jan 3, 2010 11:49 PM

    Dream on, idiot Pats fans. Your team hasn’t beaten ONE SINGLE GOOD TEAM this season and won’t in the playoffs either.

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