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Update: odds and ends

Saturday's start time is 1:30 p.m.; How the Patriots can clinch a playoff berth; Referee gives explanation of David Patten fumble ruling in Buffalo...

Here's some Monday odds and ends on this off day for the players due to the short week...

Showdown at 1:30

Anyone planning on attending this Saturday's game at Foxboro Stadium please be advised the game begins at 1:30 p.m. Some media reports mistakenly announced a start time of 12:30.

Again, the showdown for first place begins at 1:30 p.m. Gates open four hours prior. ...

Clinch this week? Here's how...

It is possible for the Patriots to clinch a playoff spot by the end of this weekend. Here are the scenarios:

New England can clinch a playoff spot with a win AND EITHER a NY Jets loss OR a Baltimore loss OR a Seattle loss or tie; OR a tie AND a Seattle loss.

(1) NE win NYJ loss

(2) NE win BAL loss

(3) NE win SEA loss or tie

(4) NE tie SEA loss

Got that?

The Patten-pending play

Still scratching your head over the ruling that essentially won the game for the Patriots against the Bills Sunday? David Patten fumbled, but the ball was ruled out of bounds before Buffalo recovered. Here's how referee Mike Carey explained it to a pool reporter after the game:

Carey: On the play there is a reception by the receiver. He fumbled. The ball was loose in the field of play and while [the ball was] in contact with the receiver's calf, his head hit out of bounds. By rule, that's a loose ball. If a loose ball touches anything that is out of bounds, it is itself out of bounds and it would be in possession of the receivers."

Reporter: It didn't matter that he did not have possession?

Carey: He had possession through the catch so then the team had possession and when the ball's out of bounds, it goes back to the last team with possession.

Reporter: Was the replay indisputable that he was out of bounds?

Carey: Indisputable.

Reporter: Was his head out of bounds?

Carey: His head was out of bounds. I couldn't tell his shoulder, but I could tell his head.

Reporter: What does the term "illegal touching" mean and does it apply in this case?

Carey: In this play it does not apply because that would only apply before the reception and not after the reception ... If he had gone out of bounds, come back in, and was the first to touch, that would be illegal touching.

Must have been a Buffalo reporter. Us Patriots fans knew the rule the instant the play happened. Right?

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