Despite enduring a tumultuous preseason and an equally rocky regular season, the New England Patriots are still miraculously in the playoff hunt heading into Week 18. They control their own destiny after beating the Miami Dolphins in Week 17, as they can clinch a postseason berth with a road win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
The Patriots can still get in with a loss if the Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers both lose as well, but head coach Bill Belichick would prefer to avoid that situation if possible. He stressed the important of winning Week 18's regular-season finale during his Monday morning radio appearance on The Greg Hill Show.
New England Patriots Week 18
This week's game is all hands on deck for the Patriots, who have lost three straight games to the Bills dating back to last year. New England can't afford another loss to Buffalo, which would drop them to 8-9 and potentially knock them out of the playoffs.
Of course, the Patriots wouldn't be in this situation if a number of things had gone differently this season. Their humiliating loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on a botched lateral during Week 15 still looms large and could be the defining moment of this season if New England falls short in Week 18.
Still, the fact that the Patriots even have something to play for in Week 18 is impressive given the team's 1-3 start and 1-4 stretch from Weeks 12-16. New England has had a bad habit of limping to the finish line in recent seasons going back to 2019, so this game is a chance for them to reverse that trend.
That won't be easy, however, as the Patriots are currently listed as 7.5-point road underdogs against the Bills on FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL odds.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.