NFL playoff picture: Here’s where Patriots stand after loss to Bills originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Buffalo Bills took a commanding lead in the AFC East title race with a 33-21 win over the New England Patriots in Sunday’s Week 16 game at Gillette Stadium.
These two teams are tied atop the division standings with a 9-6 record, but Buffalo has the advantage via the division record tiebreaker. The Bills are 4-1 against divisional opponents, compared to the Patriots’ 3-2 record.
The Bills now have a 88 percent chance of finishing the regular season as AFC East champions, while the Patriots’ chances of claiming the division crown are 12 percent, per FiveThirtyEight. Buffalo has not won back-to-back division titles since 1990 and 1991.
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The Patriots have dropped into the wild card portion of the AFC playoff bracket as the No. 6 seed. They have head-to-head tiebreakers over the Los Angeles Chargers and Cleveland Browns. The Indianapolis Colts have the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Patriots.
New England still has a 93 percent chance of reaching the playoffs, per FiveThirtyEight, but it’s likely to be via one of the wild card berths rather than the division winner. The Patriots end the season with a home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 17 and a road game versus the Miami Dolphins in Week 18.
Luckily for the Patriots, the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers both lost Sunday to fall to 8-7.
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Here’s an updated look at the AFC playoff picture through Sunday’s early afternoon Week 16 matchups. This story will be updated as more games conclude.
In a Playoff Spot
1. Kansas City Chiefs, 10-4 (AFC West leader)
2. Tennessee Titans, 10-5 (AFC South leader)
3. Cincinnati Bengals, 9-6 (AFC North leader)
4. Buffalo Bills, 9-6 (AFC East leader)
5. Indianapolis Colts, 9-6 (First wild card)
6. New England Patriots, 9-6 (Second wild card)
7. Pittsburgh Steelers, 7-6-1 (Third wild card)
On the Bubble
8. Baltimore Ravens, 8-7
9. Los Angeles Chargers, 8-7
10. Las Vegas Raiders, 7-7
11. Miami Dolphins, 7-7
12. Denver Broncos, 7-7
13. Cleveland Browns, 7-8