There are three teams the Buffalo Bills could potentially host in the Divisional Round of the AFC playoffs if they defeat the Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon.
The NFL playoffs are scheduled to get underway this weekend, and the Buffalo Bills are set to get their fourth consecutive postseason underway on day two of three in the Wild Card round.
The No. 2 seed Bills are set to host the No. 7 seed Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon. The AFC East rivals met twice during the regular season, with each winning at home. Miami won 21-19 in Week 3, and Buffalo won 32-29 in Week 15.
Since the Bills’ current run of four straight playoff appearances began in 2019, they are 3-0 in Orchard Park. If they can make it 4-0 on Sunday afternoon, they would secure a home game in the Divisional Round for just the second time during that run.
A win over the Dolphins would mean that there are three possible opponents for the Bills the following weekend.
The three teams in play here are the No. 3 seed Cincinnati Bengals, the No. 4 seed Jacksonville Jaguars, and the No. 5 seed Los Angeles Chargers. The Bills did not complete a game with any of these three teams during the regular season.
The No. 1 seed Kansas City Chiefs aren’t in play, since they are set to play the remaining team with the lowest seed, and the No. 6 seed Baltimore Ravens aren’t in play either.
Just like in the six-team format used before the 2020 playoff expansion, a No. 2 seed cannot play a No. 6 seed in the Divisional Round. The reason why that is still the case, even with a seventh team, is simple. The only way the No. 6 seed isn’t the lowest seed remaining is if the No. 7 seed wins, and if the No. 7 seed wins, the No. 2 seed is out.
So let’s have a look at how the Bills can host either the Bengals, Jaguars, or Chargers in the Divisional Round.
NOTE: All percentages based on FiveThirtyEight’s projections.
If the Bills beat the Dolphins and the Bengals beat the Ravens, this matchup is a lock, and the two teams that were supposed to have played each other in Week 17 for the first time since 2019 would be slated to get a chance to do so in the postseason with much more at stake.
The chance that this matchup takes place is 69.42%. If a Bills Wild Card victory is assumed, the chance this matchup takes place is 78%.
In order for the Bills to play the Jaguars in the Divisional Round, the Ravens would have to beat the Bengals, meaning that all three matchups would need to go a certain way to make it happen.
The chance that this matchup takes place in the Divisional Round is 11.55%. If a Bills Wild Card victory is assumed, the chance this matchup takes place in the Divisional Round is 12.98%.
Los Angeles Chargers
The same can be said for a potential Bills vs. Chargers matchup in the Divisional Round. Even if both teams win their respective Wild Card games, it would still take a Ravens win over the Bengals to set up this matchup.
The chance that this matchup takes place in the Divisional Round is 8.03%. If a Bills Wild Card victory is assumed, the chance this matchup takes place in the Divisional Round is 9.02%.