The Buffalo Bills’ 20-17 loss to the New York Jets on Sunday was painful in a lot of ways, ranging from the team’s 0-2 division record to quarterback Josh Allen’s elbow to, yes, their current situation in the AFC playoff picture.
Buffalo enters Week 10 at 6-2 overall and still sitting atop the conference, owning a head-to-head tiebreaker over the 6-2 Kansas City Chiefs for the top spot at the moment. The Bills still also hold head-to-head tiebreakers over the other two AFC division leaders, the 6-3 Baltimore Ravens and the 5-3 Tennessee Titans—advantages won early in the season that should not be quickly forgotten given the team’s recent struggles.
Things are looking a little more bleak elsewhere. While the Bills still have incredibly high odds of making the playoffs in the three statistical models we review each week, their chances of claiming the No. 1 seed took a hit with their loss in New York—as did their chances of winning the division, with the 6-3 Jets, the 6-3 Miami Dolphins, and the 5-4 New England Patriots hot on their heels. Let’s review.
- Football Outsiders DVOA-based modeling gives the Bills a 44.8% chance at securing the top seed (down from 71.4% just a week ago), and a 94.4% chance of making the playoffs outright.
- The New York Times playoff simulator has the Bills with a 50% chance at securing the top seed (down from 65% just a week ago), a 70% chance at winning the division, and a 96% chance of making the playoffs.
- FiveThirtyEight and its Elo-based modeling gives the Bills a 44% chance at having a first-round bye (down from 68% last week), a 72% chance of winning the division, and a 96% chance of making the playoffs.
One week can change a lot in this league. That’s why the status of Allen’s elbow injury looms so large, and why the Bills could stand to start showing a bit more urgency in their postseason positioning quest—particularly when it comes to divisional games.
AFC playoff picture, Week 10
|2||Kansas City Chiefs||6-2||2-0||3-2||+54||W2|
|5||New York Jets||6-3||2-1||5-3||+20||W1|
|7||Los Angeles Chargers||5-3||2-1||4-2||-22||W1|
|8||New England Patriots||5-4||1-1||4-2||+37||W2|
|14||Las Vegas Raiders||2-6||1-2||2-4||-18||L2|