The New England Patriots' chances of making the NFL playoffs for the second consecutive season took a hit Thursday night with a 24-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots entered this Week 13 matchup one game behind the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets for a wild card playoff spot in the AFC. Fortunately, the Chargers did them a favor, as New England moved up to the No. 8 seed in the AFC after Los Angeles' loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
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Still, New England has just a 25 percent chance of making the playoffs after losing to the Bills, according to FiveThirtyEight's predictive model. One of the reasons for those long odds is the Patriots' tough upcoming schedule. After playing back-to-back road games out West, the Patriots finish the regular season against three of the best teams in the AFC.
If we assume that 10 victories will be required for the Patriots to earn an AFC wild card berth, they must win four of their final five games to get in. That's a pretty difficult task given the quality of opponents left for New England to play.
Here a look at the remainder of the Patriots' regular-season schedule:
- Week 14: at Arizona Cardinals (Monday)
- Week 15: at Las Vegas Raiders (Sunday night)
- Week 16: vs. Cincinnati Bengals (Saturday)
- Week 17: vs. Miami Dolphins
- Week 18: at Buffalo Bills
Here's a look at the updated AFC playoff picture through Week 13. This story will be updated as more games conclude.
In a Playoff Spot
- Buffalo Bills, 9-3 (AFC East leader)
- Kansas City Chiefs, 9-3 (AFC West leader)
- Baltimore Ravens, 8-4 (AFC North leader)
- Tennessee Titans, 7-5 (AFC South leader)
- Cincinnati Bengals, 8-4 (Second Wild Card)
- Miami Dolphins, 8-4 (First Wild Card)
- New York Jets, 7-5 (Third Wild Card)
On the Bubble
8. New England Patriots, 6-6
9. Los Angeles Chargers, 6-6
10. Las Vegas Raiders, 5-7
11. Cleveland Browns, 5-7
12. Pittsburgh Steelers, 5-7