Or should I say, the importance of the seed that avoids San Diego as long as possible. At this point, the Pats have essentially no shot at a bye (I suppose it's not impossible if McNair's out--the Ravens would have to lose to Pittsburgh and Buffalo, while the Colts would have to lose tonight and then to Miami in the season finale while the Pats win out. So it's highly unlikely). The bye would obviously have been huge, but I don't think anyone doubts the Pats can win their home game in the wildcard round. The question then is who they play next. I think travelling to San Diego, playing a rested Chargers team, would be extremely difficult to do--I'd give the Pats a 10% shot at winning. But I think a game against, say, the Ravens would be very winnable, with the possibility that the Colts beat San Diego and the Pats get the Colts at home. THAT game I could see the Pats winning. And I think we've all seen enough of the NFC this year to know that the Pats--then having a two-week rest, would probably win the Super Bowl. So.....how to avoid San Diego? I think it's actually hard to say--you'd have to guess that it means getting the #3 seed, assuming San Diego finishes first. But if the Chargers lose to Seattle and end up tied with Baltimore, maybe the Ravens would be the #1 seed (Looks to me like it'd be tied on conference record, and I'm too lazy to research further). Remaining games of the division leaders are: San Diego 12-2, @ Seattle, AZ Baltimore 11-3, @ Pitt, Buffalo Indy 10-3, Cincy, @ Houston, Miami Pats 10-4, @ Jax, @ Tenn At any rate, if I had to predict I'd say the Colts losing tonight might be very important to the Pats' Super Bowl hopes.