NFL playoff photo: Here’s what’s at stake for the Patriots in the Week 13 game against the Bills


The New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills meet on Monday night in a game that will have a huge impact not only on the AFC title race, but on the AFC’s playoff image in his outfit.

The Patriots enter this Week 13 game as the No.1 seed in the conference following the Baltimore Ravens’ loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday afternoon.

The weather forecast for Orchard Park on Monday night is far from pleasant

New England’s stint at the AFC summit could be short-lived, however. Bill Belichick’s side must beat the Bills on the road at Highmark Stadium to maintain this position.

Here’s a recap of what’s at stake for the Patriots in Monday’s showdown against the Bills. All percentages in the table below are from the FiveThirtyEight model.

Scenario Seed Make the playoffs Win the AFC East Goodbye to the 1st round
If the Patriots win … No. 1 98% 77% 47%
If the Patriots lose … n ° 5 81% 19% 8%

A loss drops the Patriots four places in the standings and makes winning the division quite difficult. They would still be a solid bet to return to the playoffs, but having a home playoff game would be unlikely.

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A win gives the Patriots a good cushion over the Bills and makes them the favorite to finish the regular season as a No.1 seed. In the new playoff format, the only team in each conference that has earned a leave -passing in the first round is the seed.

Luckily for the Patriots, they’ve been formidable on the road this season with a 5-0 record and a plus-68 points differential.

Monday’s game against the Bills will be their toughest road game yet, however. It’s a formidable test for Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones and a New England defense who plays with all kinds of confidence in the middle of the team’s six-game winning streak.