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Bills' Playoff Probability at 84% Heading to Next Week

According to New York Times calculator, things are looking up for the Bills despite recent inconsistent play.

While it's true that the New England Patriots have overtaken the Buffalo Bills as favorites to win the AFC East, the Bills still have an 84% chance to make the playoffs and a 49% chance to win the AFC East, according to the New York Times' interactive playoff projector.

The tool takes into account every result on the NFL's master schedule and what is expected the rest of the way and presents an optimistic picture for the Bills, who remain in control of their fate in what is ostensibly a two-horse race for the division title.

Despite heading into the most difficult portion of their schedule, with a trip to Tampa and home game against Carolina sandwiched between both of their division showdowns against the Patriots, the Bills rank behind only four teams in the conference with higher playoff probabilities: Tennessee (98%), New England (94%), Baltimore (89%) and Kansas City (85%).

What the Bills do not control are their chances for earning the top seed, which brings a first-round bye. They have just a 9% chance of earning that spot, with a loss to Tennessee particularly crucial in that equation.

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If the Bills win their next game, which is not until next Monday night at home against New England, their playoff probability would rise to 92%, with a 16% chance of earning the lone first-round bye.

The tool allows visitors to choose the outcomes of games and see what the updated odds would be.

The Bills have been installed as 3-point favorites against the Patriots, according to sisportsbook.com.

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at www.si.com/nfl/bills and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro. Email to Nicky300@aol.com.