By Tim Graham
AccuScore's projections look dim for the Buffalo Bills this week.
For the long haul, however, the Bills are trending upward.
Through AccuScore's 10,000 season simulations, the Bills came out with the sixth-best chance of making the playoffs out of the AFC. Six teams get in.
The Bills made the postseason 44 percent of the time. The Houston Texans (95.9 percent), Baltimore Ravens (89.2), New England Patriots (83.3), San Diego Chargers (76.2) and Pittsburgh Steelers (60.5) got in more often than the Bills in the simulations.
Buffalo won the AFC East 18 percent of the time and averaged 8.8 victories.
The New York Jets, without star cornerback Darrelle Revis, dropped to a 12.7 percent likelihood of winning the division. The Miami Dolphins took it 2.1 percent of the time.
As for this Sunday's game against the Patriots in Ralph Wilson Stadium, the AccuScore computers didn't calculate much success for the Bills.
AccuScore assumed running back C.J. Spiller will not play because of his shoulder injury and took running back Fred Jackson at his word that he has a 70 percent chance to play for the first time since hurting his knee on opening day.
With those parameters, the Patriots won 65.6 percent of AccuScore's simulations and averaged 30.2 points a game. The Bills averaged 24.3 points.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady averaged 290 yards and little more than two touchdowns a game.
Buffalo's best chance will be with its pass rush. In games when it forced at least one interception and limited Brady to no more than one touchdown pass, Buffalo won 55 percent of the time.
But when Buffalo recorded two sacks or fewer, the Patriots won 72 percent.