It’s been a long two weeks since the Bills last took the field. The next month, the Bills have a tremendous opportunity in front of them with 4 very winnable games. The Bills bye week was good to them, the best the Bills could have emerged from their bye week was 5th in the AFC…and that is exactly where they sit, thanks to many outcomes going exactly the way the Bills needed.
First, here’s a look at the overall AFC Playoff picture. For the first time all year, the Bills are not leading the AFC East. They are, however, holding onto the first Wild Card spot at the time being. Important Week 7 games:
Kansas City @ Oakland
I had a hard time with this one. I am not convinced that the Raiders are dead yet. And despite wanting a high pick for the Chiefs, I continue to think it would be best to eliminate as many fellow Wild Card contenders as possible. If the Raiders lose here, they will fall to 2-5 with the matchup against Buffalo looming. Even if the Bills were to loose that game, Oakland would still be behind them in the standings, where they wouldn’t have to worry about them yet. That being said, let’s root to continue to drive the final nail in Oakland’s coffin.
Tampa Bay @ Buffalo
Despite not having AFC conference tie-breaker ramifications, this is an important game for the Bills. A win would keep them at 5th in the AFC, at worst.
Tennessee @ Cleveland
Tennessee is right in the thick of the muddled AFC South, making them a Wild Card contender as well. Because of this, it would be better to have Cleveland win here and send the Titans below .500 on the year.
Jacksonville @ Indianapolis
Jacksonville is right there with Tennessee, the loser of the division might be in play for a wild card position, so we need to hope that Jacksonville loses as much as possible. Jam-packing the AFC South at 3-4 would be nice for the Bills, especially if they can improve to 4-2 this week.
NY Jets @ Miami
I would root for the Jets here. The Dolphins came back last week to stun the Falcons, and a win would put them at 4-2, tied with the Bills, despite a pretty underwhelming season thus far.
Baltimore @ Minnesota
Root for the Vikings. Another loss for Baltimore would put the Ravens below .500 on the year. The AFC North is another division that we should root for a cluttered mess at the top, hoping the teams at the top of that division stack up as many losses as possible.
Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh
At this point, I think we should root for the Steelers to win the AFC North, and root for Cincinnati and Baltimore to fall off. Especially now that the Bengals have the tie-breaker over the Bills, we need to make sure that they keep a respectable distance in the standings.
Denver @ LA Chargers
This is another game that either result would benefit the Bills. I am tempted to root for the Chargers here, so it once again can clutter up the second-place spot in the AFC West.
Atlanta @ New England
Besides their own game, I don’t think there is a game that Bills fans will be watching more closely than this one. A Patriots loss, coupled with a Bills win, sends them back to 1st in the AFC East. It is not impossible for Matt Ryan to beat the Pats, especially given how bad New England’s defense has been. Root for the Falcons here.
Are you picking up the pattern here? Overall, it is best for the Bills if the divisions get as cluttered at the top as possible, thus (hopefully!) eliminating them from Wild Card contention if they get to 7 or 8 losses.
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2 thoughts on “AFC Playoff Picture: Week 7”
Excellent article & analogy!
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Thank you for reading!