When the Chargers beat the Broncos last night, they did more than tighten the back end of the AFC postseason race.
They also handed the Patriots a clear path to the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
Both New England and Denver now have three losses -- the Broncos are 11-3 and the Pats 10-3 -- but the Patriots have the tiebreaker edge over the Broncos by virtue of their come-from-behind, overtime win on Nov. 24. So if the Pats win their final three games and finish tied with Denver for the best overall record, they'll get the No. 1 seed because of that Nov. 24 victory.
Should the Chiefs overtake the Broncos and win the AFC West, the Pats would also win the tiebreaker over them by virtue of a better conference record (New England is currently 7-2 against AFC opponents and would be 10-2 if they win their last three; Kansas City already has three losses in the conference).