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How the Buffalo Bills can clinch an AFC playoff spot in Week 17

Buffalo can clinch a spot early!

Buffalo Bills v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

With their win in Week 16 and some help from the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Buffalo Bills not only control their path to the postseason, they set themselves up for a playoff-clinching scenario in Week 17.

In Week 16, the Bills can make it to 94% chance of the playoffs (per the New York Times) if the Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and New England Patriots all win. Buffalo can’t clinch a playoff spot this week.

In Week 17, the Bills can clinch a playoff spot, but they can’t do it with a loss. They need to beat the New England Patriots plus get some help.

Between the two weeks of football, here is what Buffalo needs:

Week 17 clinching scenarios for Buffalo Bills:
Bills win PLUS...

  • Colts loss (Weeks 16 or 17) + Texans loss (Weeks 16 or 17) + Broncos loss (Weeks 16 or 17) + Steelers loss (Week 17) + Bengals loss (Week 17)

- The Colts play the Atlanta Falcons in Week 16 and the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 17.
- The Texans play the Cleveland Browns in Week 17 and the Tennessee Titans in Week 17.
- The Broncos play the New England Patriots in Week 16 and the Ls Angeles Chargers in Week 17.
- The Steelers play the Seahawks in Week 17.
- The Bengals play the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 17.

We’ll update as the December 24th games rolls though to give you a better understanding of what Buffalo needs.