Updating AFC Playoff Picture After Bills’ Loss To Tom Brady, Buccaneers

The Patriots now hold a two-game lead in the AFC East

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December 12, 2021

Tom Brady did his old team a solid on Sunday.

Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers handed the Buffalo Bills a 33-27 overtime loss at Raymond James Stadium, giving the New England Patriots some additional breathing room atop the AFC East standings.

The 7-6 Bills now trail the 9-4 Patriots by a full two games in the battle for the division title. New England also took the first meeting between the longtime rivals, winning 14-10 in Buffalo last Monday night. A Week 16 rematch is set for Sunday, Dec. 26 at Gillette Stadium.

The Bills erased a 21-point second-half deficit but went three-and-out on their lone overtime possession. Brady, who’s won 33 of his 36 career starts against Buffalo, responded with a 58-yard touchdown pass to Breshad Perriman to win it.

In other relevant AFC results, the Tennessee Titans (20-0 over Jacksonville) and Kansas City Chiefs (48-9 over Las Vegas) scored blowout victories to improve to 9-4 on the season, and the Baltimore Ravens dropped a 24-22 decision to the Cleveland Browns to fall to 8-5.

Baltimore also lost starting quarterback and former NFL MVP Lamar Jackson to an ankle sprain, the severity of which was unclear as of Sunday evening. The Ravens entered the weekend as the No. 2 seed in the AFC. Sunday’s loss dropped them to fourth as they still lead the AFC North.

The conference-leading Patriots were off this week, enjoying their long-awaited bye. They’ll face the Colts in Indianapolis next Saturday night before closing the season with games against the Bills (home), Jacksonville Jaguars (home) and Miami Dolphins (road).

With an in-conference record of 7-1, the Patriots currently own tiebreakers over the Titans and Chiefs.

Here’s an updated look at the AFC playoff picture through 14 weeks:

1. New England Patriots (9-4; AFC East leader)
2. Tennessee Titans (9-4; AFC South leader)
3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-4; AFC West leader)
4. Baltimore Ravens (8-5; AFC North leader)
5. Los Angeles Chargers (8-5; first wild card)
6. Indianapolis Colts (7-6; second wild card)
7. Buffalo Bills (7-6; third wild card)

In the hunt: Cleveland Browns (7-6), Cincinnati Bengals (7-6), Denver Broncos (7-6), Pittsburgh Steelers (6-6-1), Las Vegas Raiders (6-7), Miami Dolphins (6-7)

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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