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What the Buffalo Bills need to end their 17-year playoff drought

The Bills lost to the Patriots in Week 16, but that was expected. They can still end their record 17-year playoff drought – they'll just need some help to do it.

The Ravens currently sit in the AFC's first wild-card spot at 9-6, while the Titans, Chargers and Bills are tied for the second spot at 8-7.

There are two ways the Bills can get into the playoffs. Here's what they'll need, as well as an updated look at the standings:

1. A Ravens loss to the Bengals.

If the Bills win and the Ravens lose, the Bills will get into the playoffs.

If the Bills and Ravens finish 9-7 and and the Titans and Chargers lose next week, the Bills would have the tiebreaker on the Ravens and get the fifth seed. If there is a multi-team tie at 9-7 with either the Titans or Chargers (or both), the Bills would still get in, though the seeding would depend on who else in involved.

If the Ravens don't lose to the Bengals (6-9), the Bills would need:

2. A Titans loss to the Jaguars, and a Chargers loss to the Raiders.

If the Ravens win, they'll lock up the fifth seed at 10-6. That would leave the Bills, Titans and Chargers competing for the final spot.

If the Bills beat the Dolphins to get to 9-7, they'd still lose a head-to-head tiebreaker to either the 9-7 Titans (on conference record) or the 9-7 Chargers (on head-to-head loss). They'd also lose out in a multi-team tiebreaker. So if the Ravens win, the Bills would need both the Titans and Chargers to lose next week.

This scenario also holds if the Bills tie the Dolphins.

What are the odds?

Not high. The Bills didn't get much help in Week 16. The Chiefs locked up the AFC West, which could've helped the Bills if the Chargers were able to pass the Chiefs in the divisional race.

FiveThirtyEight currently plugs the Bills' playoff odds at at 22 percent. That improves to only 46 percent with a win next week.

The Ravens are expected to be favorited by Vegas against the Bengals, while the Chargers are expected to be favorited against the Raiders. The Titans could be underdogs against the Jaguars (10-4 entering Sunday), though the Jags locked up the AFC South title with the Titans' loss, so they may rest some players.

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