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Bills playoff odds are ozone-thin

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills still are in the playoff picture despite being 4-7.

"That can get you some excited feelings," Bills center and captain Eric Woods said.

"But when that happens you kind of have to look in the mirror and say, 'We have four wins at this point, and we have a long way to go.' "

A loooooooooooooong way to go.

Statistics show passengers have a better chance to survive a plane crash at 4 percent than the Bills have to make the playoffs this year.

You have about the same odds of flipping a coin and having it land on the same side five times in a row. Go ahead. Give that a try. I'm going to run to the dry cleaner and pick up some stuff at the grocery store and come be back after I catch a fish off Strawberry Island. Take your time.

Analytics site NumberFire.com calculates the Bills' postseason chances at 3 percent. FootballOutsiders.com's analysis pegs the Bills' hopes at 2.1 percent.

FootballOutsiders.com calculates that Buffalo has almost the same chance (1.5 percent) of finishing with a record poor enough for a top-three draft choice that of reaching the postseason.

While many scoreboard watchers came away with the feeling the Bills' playoff probability improved during their bye week, the numbers don't agree.

Numberfire.com had the Bills at 3.9 percent, while FootballOutsiders.com listed them at 4.1 percent entering last week's games.

Six teams from each conference qualify for the postseason. Both sites give the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs better than a 99 percent chance.

The sites differ slightly on the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals, but their numbers are over 92 percent.

For the last spot, we see a steep drop.

Numberfire.com has the Tennessee Titans in a dead heat with the Miami Dolphins for the sixth seed at 26 percent. The Baltimore Ravens are next 22.2 percent, followed by the Pittsburgh Steelers at 21.6 percent.

FootballOutsiders.com has the Steelers' probability slotted sixth at 38 percent, with the Titans next at 13.9 percent.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | tgraham@buffnews.com


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | mgaughan@buffnews.com


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | jskurski@buffnews.com

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