AFC Playoff Picture: Week 1

If you’re a die hard Buffalo Bills fan it doesn’t matter that only one game has been played.  Open up the sports website of your choice and look at the top of the AFC standings, or ask Siri who the best team in the NFL is.  The answer will make you smile.  The Buffalo Bills are in first place in the AFC.

Over the course of the season, we will be keeping you updated on the current AFC playoff picture and discuss the desired results that will improve the Bills chances at ending their 17 year playoff drought.  If the Bills are eliminated from playoff contention during the season, we will change the topic to look at the draft order for the very important 2018 NFL draft.

Current AFC Playoff Picture

Since the season is so young, we will focus on the AFC East this week and the upcoming schedule, rather than the entire AFC picture.


Week 2 games:

Buffalo @ Carolina
Obviously the most important game of the week for the Bills.  The first tiebreaker is always win-loss record, and another win would keep the Bills atop the AFC East, and at the top of the conference.
New England @ New Orleans
I do not think the division is in play, as I am sure that the Patriots will rebound to win about 12ish games.  A Patriot win will still keep the Bills in front of them (even if the Bills lose) for another week, due to the Bills 1-0 record in the division.
Jets @ Raiders
I would be inclined to root for the Jets in this game.  The Raiders will be in the AFC Wild Card discussion, so getting them as many losses as possible is good for the Bills.
Miami @ San Diego
I am tempted to use the same logic as above here, root for the Dolphins.  A loss would send the Chargers to 0-2 and the Bills still control their own destiny against the Dolphins, having 2 games against them later in the year.  The Bills also play the Chargers later in the year, but sending a legit contender to 0-2 is a better result for the Bills.

Something to keep in mind throughout the year:
Head-to-head games against Wild Card caliber teams hold extra weight, as they are the first tie-breaker if two teams finish with the same record.  If the two teams did not play during the year, then the second playoff tiebreaker for the wildcard position is record in conference games.  Because of this, it would benefit the Bills to win as many conference games as possible.  That is why last weeks’ win was huge, it was a “double dip” of sorts…the Bills are 1-0 in the division and 1-0 in the conference.  So, because of this, if the Bills are only going to win 1 of the next 3 games, it would be best for them to win the Denver game.  This would also act as a “double dip”, the Bills would be 2-0 in the conference, and then hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with Denver, which means Denver would have to beat the Bills outright based on final record.  So, as cool as it would be to beat the reigning NFC Champs in Week 4, that would do essentially nothing for their tie-breaking situation.  Think back to last year, the Bills were 3-1 against the NFC West, which was great…but their conference record was 4-8.  So, the Bills had to beat every other Wild Card team outright, which they did not do.

Hopefully the results play out the way outlined above and the Bills will stay atop the AFC for another week.  Go Bills!

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