This weekend couldn't have gone much better for the Patriots. While New England took care of business by beating the Broncos in Denver, the other contenders for the top seed in the AFC all lost, with the Steelers falling to the 49ers on Monday night to cap the trio of fortuitous results for the Patriots.
As a result, the Steelers, Texans (loss to the Panthers) and Ravens (loss to the Chargers) all fell to 10-4, leaving the 11-3 Patriots alone as the No. 1 seed.
So New England is in control. Home wins over the Dolphins and Bills, AFC East rivals who have been inconsistent at best this season, will give the Patriots home field throughout the playoffs, meaning the road through the AFC would go through Gillette Stadium.
To check out the various playoff scenarios, check out our Playoff Machine.