49ers vs. Patriots, Week 15: Loss hurts New England's playoff position

Jim Rogash

While coming back from a 28-point deficit is impressive, the loss for the New England Patriots hampers their chances at earning a bye in the playoffs.

The New England Patriots showed a lot of heart and fight in coming back from a 28-point deficit on Sunday night, but the end result is still a loss and one that hurts the Patriots' chances of earning a postseason bye.

Now at 10-4, New England is in third place in the AFC after getting leapfrogged by the Denver Broncos, who trounced the Baltimore Ravens earlier in the day. For the Patriots to reclaim a bye, they will likely need the Broncos to drop one of their last two games, a proposition that doesn't sound promising with Denver facing the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs.

On the flip side, the loss did show New England fans what the Patriots are capable of. Not only can the offense put up points in bunches against a top defense, but the personality of the team is one that won't quit when facing large deficits. From Pats Pulpit:

This is something I haven't seen since the dynasty years.

The Patriots have heart.

What New England did tonight was nothing short of incredible, but it was short of winning the game.

The Patriots will look to rebound when they head on the road to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars next week.

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