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The New England Patriots’ matchup against the Buffalo Bills will have enormous consequences in the NFL playoff picture. An ESPN graphic perfectly captured the stakes.

If the Patriots win the game in Week 16, they have a 99% chance of finishing at the top of the AFC East, which would mean they’re looking at a top-four finish in the playoff standings. They would then have a shot at securing home-field playoffs and a first-round bye. Buffalo, meanwhile, would be in a very uncomfortable position to jockey for a wild card spot.

But if the Bills win, they’re looking at 88% chance of finishing atop the AFC East. That leaves the Patriots with just a 12% chance. And just like we mentioned, New England would be in search of a sometimes-elusive wild card spot.

This game should absolutely have a playoff environment.


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