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How Bills can clinch a playoff berth in Week 17

The Bills cannot clinch the AFC East title until Week 18, but they can secure a playoff berth in Week 17. We break down what they need to do and where they can land in the 2022 NFL playoffs.

Josh Allen #17, Stefon Diggs #14, and Daryl Williams #75 of the Buffalo Bills huddle during a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 28, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Result: Bills 29, Falcons 15. With a home victory on Sunday and a Ravens loss to the Rams, Buffalo has clinched a postseason berth for a third consecutive year. The AFC East division title will be decided next week with the Patriots also clinching a playoff berth.

The Atlanta Falcons fly north in Week 17 to take on the Buffalo Bills. While the Falcons are still in contention in the NFC playoff hunt, the Bills currently are the 4-seed in the AFC. Kick-off from Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York is set for 1:00 p.m. ET with the game airing on FOX.

The Bills currently sits atop the AFC East with a 9-6 record and a tiebreaker win over the New England Patriots due to their win percentage in division games. Here are the various scenarios that could see the Bills clinch a playoff berth this week:

  1. BUF win + BAL loss or tie OR
  2. BUF win + LAC loss or tie + LV loss or tie OR
  3. BUF tie + MIA loss or tie + LAC loss + LV loss OR
  4. BUF tie + MIA loss or tie + LAC loss or tie + BAL loss + PIT loss or tie OR
  5. BUF tie + MIA loss or tie + LV loss or tie + BAL loss + PIT loss or tie OR
  6. BUF tie + NE loss or tie + LAC Loss + LV loss OR
  7. BUF tie + NE loss or tie + LAC loss or tie + BAL loss + PIT loss or tie OR
  8. BUF tie + NE loss or tie + LV loss or tie + BAL loss + PIT loss or tie OR
  9. BUF tie + LAC loss + LV loss + BAL loss + PIT loss or tie

The division title for the AFC East is still in play and it would see the Bills win back-to-back divisional titles for the first time since 1988-1991 where they won four straight. With the tie in the overall record for the Bills and the Patriots, if the Bills win and the Patriots lose this week, they will also clinch the AFC East. Most likely, we won’t crown a divisional winner until next week in Week 18 though.

The Bills came into the 2021 season with high expectations. DraftKings Sportsbook installed them at -350 to claim any kind of playoff berth this season.