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Pats on bumpy road to securing AFC bye

As the AFC playoff picture begins to take shape, the Patriots find themselves in the familiar territory of chasing the No. 1 seed.

However, looking at the remaining schedules of the AFC teams in the hunt, the Patriots (7-2) have one of the bumpier roads to the top of the conference to snag one of the two playoff byes — a luxury they’ve enjoyed in each of the past seven seasons.

Out of the six AFC teams with winning records, the Patriots have the second-toughest schedule remaining, with their last seven opponents boasting an average win percentage of .