Patriots secure first-round bye for eighth straight year

  • By Around The NFL staff
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The New England Patriots will be skipping Wild Card Weekend for the eighth straight year.

Three hours after beating the Buffalo Bills and moving to 12-3, the Patriots clinched yet another first-round bye, thanks to a Jacksonville Jaguars loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

The Patriots can clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs if the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3) lose Monday to the Houston Texans. If Pittsburgh wins, New England can still clinch home-field next week with a win over the New York Jets.

New England is 10-1 under Bill Belichick in Divisional Round games at home with the one loss coming in the 2010 playoffs to the New York Jets.