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Patriots' Loss To Rams Essentially Ends Any And All Playoff Hope For Bill Belichick's Team

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- Entering Thursday night, the Patriots' chances of securing a playoff spot were slim. After a loss to the Rams, those chances are all but shot.

According to FiveThirtyEight's prediction model, the Patriots entered the game with a 13 percent chance of making the playoffs.

And after the loss, those chances have plummeted to just 4 percent.

The New York Times' model is similar. It had the Patriots at 14 percent to make the playoffs entering Thursday. Coming out of the loss, they're at 6 percent.

That should just about close the book on any and all talk of the Patriots potentially making the playoffs. New Englanders can scoreboard-watch to their heart's content, but the seven losses already on the Patriots' record -- with three more games to go -- are a near-certainty to eliminate the Patriots from the playoff contention.

Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

And so, in all likelihood, after making the playoffs for 11 straight seasons, the Patriots are set to miss the postseason for the first time since 2008, when Matt Cassel took over for an injured Tom Brady, when the Patriots were coming off their perfect 16-0 regular season.


Wild Card 1. Cleveland Browns, 9-3
Wild Card 2. Miami Dolphins, 8-4
Wild Card 3. Indianapolis Colts, 8-4
8. Las Vegas Raiders, 7-5
9. Baltimore Ravens, 7-5
10. New England Patriots, 6-7

Had the Patriots won on Thursday night against the Rams, their chances would have gone up to 28 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight's model. By the New York Times' model, even if the Patriots manage to win their final three games (at Miami, home vs. the Bills and Jets), they will only have a 35 percent chance of reaching the playoffs.

New England gave it a good run, winning four of five games heading into Thursday night's contest in L.A., but a late fumble in Buffalo, a goal line failure in Seattle, a flat showing vs. Denver and a suspect game plan in Houston have proven to be too much for this team to overcome late in the year. It's all over now, but for the official word.

You can email Michael Hurley or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

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