According to Sports Club Stats, the Bills have a 6.2 percent chance of making the playoffs even though it seems much more plausible when you consider what needs to happen. Buffalo needs assistance from other teams. In each case, it's within reason.
Here are three scenarios most likely to help the Bills:
Cincinnati (9-4-1) losing its final two games, against Denver and Pittsburgh: The Bengals play the Broncos (11-3) on Monday night. Denver has the fourth-rated offense and defense and has plenty at stake despite clinching its division. The Broncos want to make sure they play their first playoff game at Mile High Stadium. They have a chance to grab home-field advantage throughout the playoffs if they win their final two games and New England loses one. The Bengals have had a miserable time in prime-time game, going 2-6 since Andy Dalton took over at quarterback. ... Pittsburgh has the top-rated offense in the league and is trying to catch Cincinnati for the division title. The Steelers won the first meeting, 42-21, in Cincinnati. The rematch will be in Pittsburgh.
Kansas City (8-6) losing one of its remaining games, at Pittsburgh and home against San Diego: The Steelers have won three of their last four games at home. The three wins came by an average of 14.6 points. Their one loss was by three points to New Orleans. Kansas City has one of the top pass defenses, which could limit Ben Roethlisberger, but they're 28th against the run. Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell has averaged 132 yards rushing and scored six of his seven touchdowns in the past four games.
San Diego (8-6) loses one of its remaining games, at San Francisco and at Kansas City: The Chargers need to pay up after playing four of their last five games at home. It means finishing on the road. They're 3-3 away from home this season, but they have lost two of their past three. San Francisco has lost three in a row, but the 49ers are better than they have shown in recent weeks. You would think they would be ready for a nationally televised game Saturday night. ... If the Chiefs lose to Pittsburgh, which is very possible, they'll know they need to beat the Chargers in order to stay in contention. The game will be in Kansas City, where the Chiefs are 5-2 this season. It's one of the toughest places to play in the NFL. It figures to be tougher for a division rival with plenty on the line.
Now, that's not asking for too much.
Here's the problem:
Buffalo needs to win its remaining games, at Oakland and at New England: The Bills shouldn't have many problems with the Raiders (2-12), but Oakland has won its last two home games. It beat Kansas City and San Francisco, contributing to their mini-tailspins. The Chiefs lost three straight starting with the Raiders. The Niners lost three straight, the second coming to the Raiders. Oakland was 0-10 before going 2-2 in its next four games. It's not a gimme. ... Oh, yes, the Patriots. The Bills haven't won in New England since 2000, when Doug Flutie hit Jay Riemersma with a touchdown pass, and Steve Christie kicked three field goals. The Pats have a 20-2 record against the Bills since that game.
For all the things that need to happen for the Bills to reach the postseason, don't be surprised if all fall into place and Buffalo loses the one game it needs the most.