NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 17 Playoff Picture: Bills lock up a playoff spot with a win against the Patriots

2TCMHAY Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen runs the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

• Bills on the precipice of the postseason: The Buffalo Bills have a 97% chance of making the playoffs with a Week 17 win against the New England Patriots, but their chances will fall to 41% with a loss.

• Rams need a Week 17 win vs. the Giants: The Los Angeles Rams have an 87% chance of making the playoffs with a Week 17 win against the New York Giants, but their chances will fall to just 24% with a loss.


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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The current situation ahead of Week 17

Current AFC playoff standings
  1. Baltimore Ravens (12-3)
  2. Miami Dolphins (11-4)
  3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-6)
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-7)
  5. Cleveland Browns (10-5)
  6. Buffalo Bills (9-6)
  7. Indianapolis Colts (8-7)
Current NFC playoff standings
  1. San Francisco 49ers (11-4)
  2. Philadelphia Eagles (11-4)
  3. Detroit Lions (11-4)
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-7)
  5. Dallas Cowboys (10-5)
  6. Los Angeles Rams (8-7)
  7. Seattle Seahawks (8-7)
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The projections

Naturally, it’s unlikely the playoff picture will remain constant over the remainder of the season. And that’s why it makes sense to look at the projected playoff picture — the estimated chances PFF gives each team to make the playoffs.

The following charts show the projected playoff chances for each team alongside the playoff leverage, i.e., how the playoff chances would change with a win or loss.

The logos show the current playoff chances. The points to the right of the logos indicate the chances after a win, and the points to the left indicate the chances after a loss.




Team Chances with win Chances with loss Leverage
Los Angeles Rams 87% 24% 63%
Green Bay Packers 62% 2% 60%
Buffalo Bills 97% 41% 56%
Cincinnati Bengals 56% 6% 50%
Seattle Seahawks 89% 41% 48%
Indianapolis Colts 69% 24% 45%

Playoff scenarios

Playoff matchups

As of now, the following wild-card matchups are most likely to happen:

  • Cowboys at Buccaneers (68%)
  • Browns at Jaguars (48%)
  • Bills at Chiefs (40%)
  • Seahawks at Lions (31%)
  • Rams at Lions (28%)
  • Seahawks at Eagles (22%)

Looking further ahead, these are the most likely matchups to happen at any point in the playoffs:

  • Cowboys – Buccaneers (70%)
  • Bills – Chiefs (52%)
  • Browns at Jaguars (48%)
  • Chiefs – Dolphins (47%)
  • Cowboys – 49ers (36%)
  • Eagles – 49ers (35%)
Home-field advantage

Teams that hold the No. 1 seed in the conference have a huge advantage going into the playoffs. Here are the most likely teams to do that.

Baltimore Ravens 74% San Francisco 49ers 70%
Miami Dolphins 25% Philadelphia Eagles 17%
Cleveland Browns 1% Detroit Lions 12%
Dallas Cowboys 1%
Two wild cards for the same division

With the introduction of the seventh playoff seed, we've become accustomed to seeing three playoff teams from the same division. This has happened every year since 2020, when the playoffs were extended.

North 35% 2%
East 0% 0%
South 2% 0%
West 0% 38%

Looking ahead to draft season

There are a few teams whose playoff chances are already bleak. But don’t fret — there is always the offseason and, most importantly, the draft.

PFF's customizable mock draft simulator gives you the opportunity to be the GM for any team in the 2024 NFL Draft — click here to start drafting!
The following teams have the biggest chance of picking first overall:
Here are the chances of selecting inside the top five:

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