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What are the chances the Bills make the playoffs?

We discuss whether or not the Buffalo Bills will make the AFC playoffs.

Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills rushes for a touchdown against the Denver Broncos during the fourth quarter at Highmark Stadium on November 13, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills were once thought to be the favorite to win the AFC East and now are fighting amongst a handful of teams to get into the postseason. The Bills pulled out the win over the Chiefs in Week 14 to improve to 7-6, one of six teams sitting at that record as we head into Week 15. It’s been a roller coast season for Buffalo but the team still remains in a good position to make the playoffs. Here we’ll go over their chances as we approach Week 15.

Buffalo Bills current odds

DraftKings odds: To make playoffs — Yes +100, No -120; AFC East +300
DVOA playoff odds: TBD
ESPN FPI: 45.5%
NY Times odds: 49%

Upcoming Schedule

Week 15: vs. Dallas Cowboys
Week 16: @ Los Angeles Chargers
Week 17: vs. New England Patriots
Week 18: @ Miami Dolphins

The Bills’ schedule is pretty soft once you get by Week 15’s opponent in the Cowboys. The Chargers will likely be without QB Justin Herbert for the final few games of the season. The Patriots are headed for the No. 1 overall pick potentially and the Dolphins just blew a golden opportunity on MNF vs. the Titans. Buffalo also demolished Miami earlier in the season 48-20. So if you’re the Bills, winning three of the final four games should put you in a good position to get into the playoffs. The only issue is the Bills don’t own any tiebreakers really over these 7-6 teams.

Final record prediction: 10-7

Current AFC playoff standings

  1. Baltimore Ravens 10-3
  2. Miami Dolphins 9-4
  3. Kansas City Chiefs 8-5
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars 8-5
  5. Cleveland Browns 8-5
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers 7-6
  7. Indianapolis Colts 7-6
  8. Houston Texans 7-6
  9. Denver Broncos 7-6
  10. Cincinnati Bengals 7-6
  11. Buffalo Bills 7-6

Let’s look at the rest of these 7-6 teams and see if the Bills can sneak into the playoffs. The Steelers are awful yet somehow in this position. Pittsburgh’s final four games are absolutely brutal and are against opponents vying for a playoff spot or seeding. Chances are the Steelers drop out of this picture.

The Colts and Texans are still in it in the AFC South. The two teams also play each other, which bodes well for Buffalo. But both Indy and Houston have pretty soft schedules outside of a game or two, and the head-to-head matchup. One of those teams should be in good position to land the 6 or 7 seed in the AFC.

Then it’s to the Broncos and Bengals. Cincinnati has a tough schedule down the stretch with games against Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Minnesota and Cleveland, all teams in the playoff picture. Denver should have an easier time getting in. The Broncos have a tough matchup in Week 15 vs. the Lions. After that, it’s the Patriots, Chargers and Raiders, all very winnable games.

Verdict

The Bills go 10-7 but miss the playoffs due to tiebreakers. The Broncos and Texans/Colts should do enough to get to 10-7 as well and would be ahead of the Bills in terms of tiebreakers. It’s also not crazy to think the Bengals or Steelers could do the same thing and get in over Buffalo. Is it possible the Bills run the table and get in? Sure. It feels unlikely given when they play the Cowboys. Dallas is in good position to get the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC and beating Buffalo is very important for that happening. The Bills HAVE to beat the Cowboys to make the postseason, essentially. Even then, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if Buffalo slipped up and lost to the Dolphins in that final game.