I fully realize it's not like going from #3 to #2, but I still don't think quite enough is being made of this. Reading between the lines of BB's comments, I believe he's going for the win on Sunday, and will leave in the starters until the game is decided one way or the other. It's hard to know how much is due to wanting to build and maintain momentum (opposite of Colts' laydown) vs. actually valuing the #3 seed vs the #4, or some combination. Also, they could back in if Cincy loses anyway. They way they're playing now, I don't think the Pats are scared of anyone in the AFC, and I don't think they will try to play the game of "who do we want to play in the wild card round?" like 2005, nor do I think they care if the path is initially through Indy or SD b/c at their best they can and must be able to beat both. But we know this with mathematical certainty, and is the point of my post: The #3 seed has about twice the chance to host an AFCC game as the #4 seed. Assuming all the playoff games are a 50% coin-flip, the #3 seed has a 1/8 chance of hosting the AFCC and the #4 seed has only a 1/16 chance of hosting the game, because the #3 needs three games to go in their favor while the #4 seed needs 4 games to go their way to host. (the rest of the chances are: #1: 1/2, #2: 1/4, and #5: 1/16). I don't think BB will just dismiss that. Here's another, even more positive way to look at the value of the #3 seed: If the Pats don't keep winning against whoever they play, it doesn't matter what their seed is. So for it to matter about earning the #3 seed, they have to win a wild card game and then go to SD and beat the #2 seed anyway. So, assuming the Pats are fortunate enough to get to that point, then the divisional game between Indy and the #4/#5 winner is close to a 50/50 shot of hosting the AFC championship game in Foxboro, where they are undefeated this year and where they haven't lost in the playoffs forever. The overall chances are still well 50% that the total scenario will occur, but I think BB will play the odds and go for it for this reason, along with maintaining sharpness.