2022 NFL playoff picture: Updated AFC standings, scenarios entering Week 10

NFL Playoff Picture: How Patriots' position changed after Week 9 results originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots are above the .500 mark for the first time during the 2022 NFL season after beating the Indianapolis Colts 26-3 in Sunday's Week 9 game at Gillette Stadium.

The Patriots started out 1-3 but will go into their Week 10 bye with a 5-4 record after winning four of their last five games.

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One problem for the Patriots is many of the teams ahead of them in the AFC's wild card race won in Week 9.

The New York Jets, who lost to the Patriots last week, pulled off a stunning upset in a 20-17 victory over the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills. The Miami Dolphins beat the Chicago Bears 35-32 and the Los Angeles Chargers defeated the Atlanta Falcons 20-17. The Cincinnati Bengals also beat the Carolina Panthers 42-21.

All of these results have the Patriots just outside the playoffs in eighth place. They are a half-game behind the Chargers for the third and final AFC wild card berth. The Patriots currently sit above the Bengals in the standings via the win percentage in conference games tiebreaker.

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New England's road to the AFC playoffs only gets tougher after the bye week. The Patriots have the second-hardest remaining strength of schedule, which is based on the combined .605 win percentage of their eight remaining opponents. Only the Washington Commanders have a tougher schedule (.621 opponent win percentage) the rest of the way.

Here's a look at what's next for the Patriots:

  • Week 10: Bye

  • Week 11: vs. New York Jets

  • Week 12: at Minnesota Vikings (Thanksgiving Thursday)

  • Week 13: vs. Buffalo Bills (Thursday)

  • Week 14: at Arizona Cardinals (Monday)

  • Week 15: at Las Vegas Raiders (Sunday night)

  • Week 16: vs. Cincinnati Bengals (Saturday)

  • Week 17: vs. Miami Dolphins

  • Week 18: at Buffalo Bills

The Patriots probably will need 10 wins to get into the playoffs, based on how competitive the race has been so far. That's a pretty tough task based on the difficulty of their remaining schedule.

Here's a look at the updated AFC playoff picture after the Week 9 games. This article will be updated through Monday night as more games end.

In a Playoff Spot

1. Buffalo Bills, 6-2 (AFC East leader)

2. Kansas City Chiefs, 6-2 (AFC West leader)

3. Baltimore Ravens, 6-3 (AFC North leader)

4. Tennessee Titans, 5-3 (AFC South leader)

5. New York Jets, 6-3 (First Wild Card)

6. Miami Dolphins, 6-3 (Second Wild Card)

7. Los Angeles Chargers, 5-3 (Third Wild Card)

On the Bubble

8. New England Patriots, 5-4

9. Cincinnati Bengals, 5-4

10. Indianapolis Colts, 3-5-1