By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — After their Monday night win in Buffalo in Week 13, the sky was the limit for the New England Patriots. Just a few short weeks later, the picture is a bit less rosy.

The Patriots lost 33-21 at home against the Bills on Sunday. It was New England’s second straight loss, and it allowed Buffalo to take back the top spot in the AFC East by way of the tiebreaker.

Now, New England is 9-6. They’re still in position to make the playoffs, but a postseason berth is no sure thing.

Here’s how the AFC playoff picture looks after Sunday’s game, with the note that the Dolphins will be playing on Monday night.

DIVISION LEADERS
1. Kansas City, 11-4
2. Tennessee, 10-5
3. Cincinnati, 9-6
4. Buffalo, 9-6

WILD CARDS
5. Indianapolis, 9-6
6. New England, 9-6
7. Baltimore, 8-7

IN CONTENTION
8. L.A. Chargers, 8-7
9. Las Vegas, 8-7
10. Pittsburgh, 7-7-1
11. Miami, 7-7

The Patriots are still in control of their fate, as two wins in the final two weeks will secure them at least a wild card spot. They could pass the Bills, but Buffalo does have an easy schedule, with home dates vs. Atlanta (7-8) and the Jets (4-11) remaining.

The Patriots will host the Jaguars next week in their home finale, before traveling to Miami in Week 18. After facing third-string QB Ian Book on Monday night, the Dolphins will face a tough opponent in Week 17 when they host the Titans.

What should serve the Patriots well in event of a tiebreaker is their conference record, which is currently 7-3. That’s the same record vs. AFC opponents as Indianapolis, but it’s better than the Ravens (5-6), Chargers (5-5), and Raiders (6-4) among the eight-win teams.

Assuming the Patriots take care of business against the Jaguars (New England is an early 16.5-point favorite against the 2-13 Jaguars), the stage is set for an important Week 18 for the team in Miami.

CBSBoston.com Staff