SportsLine.com, a subsidiary of CBS Sports, computer simulated the 2017 NFL season 10,000 times to see what percent of the time each team made the playoffs.
Unsurprisingly, the Buffalo Bills weren’t a favorite to make the postseason, advancing to the playoffs 16.8% of the time.
However, the set of teams with a lower percentage than the Bills was interesting.
Here it is:
Detroit Lions: 13.5%
Los Angeles Chargers: 15.4%
Miami Dolphins: 13.9%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 15.6%
Obviously, as NFC teams, the Lions and Buccaneers have little-to-no bearing on the Bills playoff chances, but Detroit made the playoffs at 9-7 a year ago. Matt Stafford threw for 4,327 yards at a completion rate of 65.3%, and Golden Tate had another 1,000-yard season. The Buccaneers seem to be the “hot” upstart team in the NFC, with DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard the biggest offseason additions to pair with Mike Evans and Jameis Winston.
As far as AFC teams, the Chargers are a club pegged by many to be playoff-caliber if not hit by a myriad of injuries. The Dolphins made the postseason last season at 10-6, a went 6-1 in games decided by seven points or less — the Bills are fully aware of that. With Adam Gase at the helm, Ryan Tannehill at quarterback, and Jay Ajayi fresh off his breakout season in 2016, Miami seems to be another trendy wild-card pick.
This is just one simulation, but it at least suggests that the Bills are a true sleeper team this season.