A quick look at the New England Patriots possible playoff opponents

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 17: Rob Gronkowski
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 17: Rob Gronkowski /
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New England Patriots
FOXBORO, MA – DECEMBER 24: Dion Lewis /

Buffalo Bills

Record: 8-7

Week 17 Opponent: Miami Dolphins

Week 17 Scenarios: Clinch a wild-card berth with a win combined with a Ravens loss, or a win combined with a Chargers loss/tie and a Titans loss/tie, or a tie combined with losses by the Chargers and Titans

Like the Los Angeles Chargers, the Buffalo Bills need some help to get into the playoffs. First, they’ll have to beat the Dolphins. Then, they’ll be hoping for either a Ravens loss or losses from both the Chargers and Titans. It’s really up in the air as to who will claim that final AFC playoff spot.

If the Bills were to make it into the playoffs as the #6 seed, the path to a matchup with the Patriots would be tough. They would have to face the Jaguars in the Wild Card round and would then have to play the Steelers in the Divisional round if New England is the top-seed.

It’s clear that New England can beat Buffalo, as they’ve done so twice this season, but the Bills do create some matchup problems. QB Tyrod Taylor is a great athlete and he’s tough to contain in 5-7 yard situations. He has the ability to scramble and create plays like Russell Wilson. Still, like many teams in the playoff picture, they likely have no chance to beat the New England Patriots in the playoffs.