Patriots, Panthers can clinch playoff spots this week

Getty Images

The NFL playoff picture usually doesn’t start to take shape until December, but the 10-0 Patriots and 10-0 Panthers both have the opportunity to clinch playoff berths on Sunday.

The Patriots clinch the AFC East if they beat the Broncos on Sunday night and the Jets lose to the Dolphins. And the Patriots could even clinch the AFC East before Sunday night’s kickoff, if the Jets lose to the Dolphins and the Bills lose to the Chiefs.

If the Jets beat the Dolphins the Patriots can’t clinch the division, but the Patriots can still clinch a playoff berth if they win and the Chiefs lose, or the Patriots win and both the Steelers and Bengals lose.

The Panthers can’t clinch their division this week, but they can clinch a playoff spot if they beat the Cowboys on Thanksgiving and one of the following three things happens:

1. The Seahawks and Buccaneers lose, or
2. The Seahawks and Falcons lose, or
3. The Buccaneers, Vikings and Cardinals all lose.

There are also some clinching scenarios that involve tie games this week, but those are too unlikely to bother with here. Bottom line, the Patriots and Panthers are close to the postseason, and may get there officially this weekend.

56 responses to “Patriots, Panthers can clinch playoff spots this week

  1. Yeah. Did the math last night, when I saw there are 6 games left and everyone in the AFC East is 5 games back.

    It really would be something if either or both of these teams clinched before the Thanksgiving Day weekend actually ended. Not supposed to happen in the new NFL.

    After 10 games everyone is supposed to be between 4-6 and 6-4….oh wait!

  2. Queue the investigation into “makingplayoffstoosoonGATE” there must be something sinister behind this! We must have answers! We’re taking this to the supreme court!

  3. Dear Mr. Florio,

    I am in need of your superpowers.

    Both Wikipedia and Bill Belichick assert that it’s not against NFL rules to videotape the opposing coaches’ play signals.

    They claim that it’s just against the rules to videotape them from an unapproved location.

    Would you please determine if that is correct?

    Rather than just answering “yes” or “no,” would it be possible for you to site the rule and/or memo and/or something that has been written down?

    If you find such a rule, could you also find out when it took effect?

    Thanks.

  4. I’d like to see the patriots win on Sunday and then forfeit the last 5 to heal up. Realistically, though, it’s gonna take 14 wins to get that 1 seed, I don’t know if they have healthy players left to get it done.

  5. Oddte – You’re basing that on the other teams in the hunt for the 1st seed NOT losing another game so the Bengals and Denver starting now will need to go on a 6 game win streak and the patriots would need to lose 3 or 4 of their last 6 games…Do you really think that is a likely scenario looking at the schedule of these teams?

  6. Goodell is gonna have to come up with another bogus cheating scandal to once again try and bring the Patriots back into “parity”. Or perhaps mediocrity.

    Are the Panthers next on the Goodell “parity” hitlist?

  7. Ironically enough Both teams play each other (Bengals vs Broncos) and they both play the Steelers, The Steelers are a team getting better and healthier. I see those games as 2 very losable games for the bengals and Broncos. Both teams will lose at least 2 more games.

  8. Oddte – You’re basing that on the other teams in the hunt for the 1st seed NOT losing another game so the Bengals and Denver starting now will need to go on a 6 game win streak and the patriots would need to lose 3 or 4 of their last 6 games…Do you really think that is a likely scenario looking at the schedule of these teams?

    ________

    I think Broncos will lose at least two more games, I’m more worried about the Bengals who have a soft schedule late and have only lost one game in the AFC.

  9. The Panthers are the only real 10-0 team.

    The Patriots cheated in every one of their games countless times.

    One and done is the Patriots anthem had they not deflated balls after spygate.

  10. donny1rodriguez says: Steelers Panthers in the Super Bowl.

    Thanks! I need that laugh!! Panthers maybe, Steelers, yeah right.

  11. Love how NE fans begin deflection with fake cheating alerts, just to dilute the expectations for the playoffs. With so many conspiracies, how can one pick out the real cheating moment?

  12. donny1rodriguez says:
    Nov 24, 2015 5:53 PM
    Steelers Panthers in the Super Bowl


    That depends. Are the Steelers hiring Dr Rydze back?

    🙂

  13. You could see that the league tried to tee up the Bills for another “oh our headsets don’t work” complaint, only the cameras had awkwardly shown Rex smashing his headset against the ground repeatedly followed by Gruden laughing at how often it happens to the Bills wherever they go. Maybe next time it’ll be noncompliant shoelaces or some thing.

  14. iamapatsfan says:

    Goodell is gonna have to come up with another bogus cheating scandal to once again try and bring the Patriots back into “parity”.
    =====================================

    The Deflator agrees. I hope that guy has lost some weight.

  15. vancouversportsbro says:
    Nov 24, 2015 5:57 PM
    The Panthers are the only real 10-0 team.

    The Patriots cheated in every one of their games countless times.

    One and done is the Patriots anthem had they not deflated balls after spygate.

    —–
    28-24 🙂 Yup u still mad 🙂

  16. AceBoogie & The Cam-rolina Panthers gon’ be dancin’ in AT&T Stadium and Mister Jerry Jones will not be pleased lol

  17. seabrawk12 says:
    Nov 24, 2015 5:26 PM

    Both will lose this week.
    ————————————————————
    Go back and look at this guy’s predictions from this year and last. He’s never been right about anything.

  18. Would love to see the Patriots vs Panthers. By far two best teams in football. Tom Brady 4 Super Bowl rings could easily be 7 rings. Cam Newton moving from good to Elite this year.

  19. joetoronto says:
    Nov 24, 2015 5:20 PM

    The Panthers will be one and done and no one outside of Charlotte will be surprised, at all.
    ————————————————————
    This expert prediction from the guy who has been telling us that the Rex Ryan lead Bills will win the AFC East this year.

    Just stop already – you have no credibility.

  20. Carolina is overrated… Wouldn’t be suprised if Carolina goes on a losing streak….Carolina is one and done….blah blah blah.

    Get over it. They are good. Real good.

  21. I know it would never happen but, given their injuries, they could use Ray Rice. Unlike, Hardy, he appears to be genuinely repentant. Belichick is great with a short leash so I would make the move unless Bill thinks his skills are too diminished.

    For comparative purposes:

    Rice: 28, 5′ 8″, 212, 4.42 40

    Vareen: 26, 5′ 9″, 205, 4.50 40

    He certainly played well against the Patriots over the years and would come cheap.

  22. tigerlilac says:
    Nov 24, 2015 7:09 PM

    I know it would never happen but, given their injuries, they could use Ray Rice.
    ————————————————————-
    Does Ray Rice give them more than James White? And before you answer, remember that this is the Ray Rice that has been out of football for a year+ and doesn’t know the offense.

  23. ch1ggs says:
    Nov 24, 2015 7:26 PM

    Upset special: Denver over the Pats: 31-17.
    ————————————————————-
    I’d have figured Denver would be favored, at home, against an injury riddled Patriots team.

  24. I love seeing how these trolls post about the Panthers “not being for real” and “one and done” and will go “on a losing streak”. Clearly you do not watch the games. They literally have been manhandling teams, only getting better every week.

    Go talk smack about your own team

  25. “Unbeatable” Patriots are about to look really mortal this week. Von Miller will be in the backfield all game and Brock will slice & dice the very average Patriots secondary. Can’t wait to see the Patriot trolls get silenced by our 6’8″ stud.

  26. “Love how NE fans begin deflection with fake cheating alerts, just to dilute the expectations for the playoffs. With so many conspiracies, how can one pick out the real cheating moment?”

    —————

    Just consult one of the imaginary friends in your head. They are just as tangible. Enjoy.

  27. This will be a tough game for New England. They have a lot to overcome in a short period of time. But if one team can do it, it’s certainly the Patriots.

    As for the Panthers, they are certainly having a great year. I’d love to see them in the SuperBowl against the Patriots. It would be a great game.

  28. johnelwayalwayswins says:
    Nov 24, 2015 8:09 PM
    “Unbeatable” Patriots are about to look really mortal this week. Von Miller will be in the backfield all game and Brock will slice & dice the very average Patriots secondary. Can’t wait to see the Patriot trolls get silenced by our 6’8″ stud.

    ————————————————–

    Yes, I’m sure the team that scored 17 against Chicago last week is going to ‘slice and dice’ the #1 scoring defense in the NFL.

  29. getakluwe says:
    Nov 24, 2015 5:10 PM

    If you somehow miss the playoffs after starting 10-0 that means you didn’t deserve to be there in the first place.
    ——————————————————————–
    I think it would mean you had a ton of injuries to key players.

  30. The biggest reason no one believes in Carolina is because they don’t do it pretty (although the win against Washington was VERY pretty). As long as they continue to lead the league in turnovers and turnover margin, they will have a chance to do well the rest of the season and, yes, even into the playoffs where they are likely to have only home games. This team will be scary in the playoffs with that defense and an offense that, I can’t believe I’m going to say it, can score in many different ways. A win in Dallas against a team desperate for a win will go far in setting them up for the playoffs.

  31. noknoknokpenny says:
    Nov 24, 2015 5:33 PM

    Dear Mr. Florio,

    I am in need of your superpowers.

    Both Wikipedia and Bill Belichick assert that it’s not against NFL rules to videotape the opposing coaches’ play signals.

    They claim that it’s just against the rules to videotape them from an unapproved location.

    Would you please determine if that is correct?

    ————————————————-

    Assuming you don’t receive an answer, let me share the best of my knowledge on this question.

    It IS and ALWAYS HAS BEEN legal to film the opponent’s sideline. However, the NFL does not want the filming team to have the opportunity to use the film during the current game. Therefore, they require the camera to be placed inside a housing, located in a particular part of the stadium, of which nobody has access to until the game is over.

    So when you hear people say that all the Patriots did wrong was film from the wrong location, it is not completely correct. They also had access to the camera/video during the actual game that was being filmed.

    That was why Belichick’s defense was, “Yes we videotaped, but we never used the video during the then current games.” Remember that?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!