AFC Playoff Picture: Week 11

Over the course of the 17-year playoff drought there have been some terrible performances by the Buffalo Bills.  Sunday’s “game” against the Saints ranks among some of the worst games of the drought.  I use quotation marks for the word game because what we witnessed was nothing that resembled a competitive match between two teams.  Remarkably, despite back-to-back blowouts, the Buffalo Bills are still in sole possession of the 6th seed in the AFC.  The Bills have been in a playoff position since Week 1 and they still control their own destiny despite the Jets and Saints blowouts.  Here is a look at the Standings through Week 10:

week 10

The standings still look very good for the Bills.  Realistically, the final playoff spot will probably come down to the Bills, Ravens and Dolphins.  Luckily for the Bills, I think 9 wins will get it done and end the drought.

Important Week 11 games:

Buffalo @ Los Angeles
No game is more important than this one.  I believe that this game is the season.  A win and the Bills could be 2 games up on everyone else, or a loss and the Bills will be well on their way to a 5 game losing streak after an impressive 5-2 start.  Not to mention the negative press onslaught that is ready to roll if the Bills lose this game.  The Bills need this game to save their season that just 14 days ago looked golden.

Tennessee @ Pittsburgh
It looks like Jacksonville and Tennessee probably have the 4th and 5th seeds locked up, but continuing to rack up losses for the Titans and Jags would be good for the Bills.  Root for Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

Jacksonville @ Cleveland
This game is of lesser importance for the Bills, rooting for the Browns is rooting for the Jaguars to gather as many losses as possible, which could mean the difference between the Bills having to play the AFC South winner in the playoffs instead of the Patriots, Chiefs or Steelers.

Baltimore @ Green Bay
Aside from the Bills game, this is the game that should mean the most to Bills fans.  Root for Green Bay hard in this one.  Some playoff simulators indicate that the Bills and Ravens at 9-7 could mean trouble for the Bills’ odds, so making sure the Ravens get to 8 losses is very important.

Tampa Bay @ Miami
This is another very important game for the Bills, as Miami is one of those teams that will be competing for the final playoff spot.  Even though the Bills control their own destiny with Miami, it would benefit the Bills to have the Dolphins lose as much as possible.  Root for Tampa Bay in this one.

Kansas City @ NY Giants
The result of this game doesn’t mean that much to the Bills.  Despite the Chiefs hot start, a loss in this one combined with a Bills win would mean that the two teams would be tied at 6-4 going into their matchup next week.  Also, another loss for the Chiefs would be a good sign for the first round pick that they are sending to Buffalo this year.

Cincinnati @ Denver
The Bills have the tiebreaker against Denver, but do not have the tiebreaker against Cincinnati.  Therefore, we should root for the Broncos so Cincinnati can be effectively eliminated from the weekly discussion.  The Broncos still have to beat out the Bills based on record alone, due to the tiebreak.  Even with a win this week I think that would be hard for Denver to do.

New England @ Oakland
This one will stir up some controversy for sure.  I am inclined to say root for the Patriots here.  A loss would put Oakland at 4-6 and continue to eliminate them from playoff discussion.  A Raiders loss here coupled with a Bills win would be deadly for Oakland, since they lost the tie-breaker to Buffalo.  If you want to root for Oakland, and the Bills win their game, then you have the Bills just one back of the Patriots with two meetings still ahead to decide the fate of the division.  I don’t believe the Bills are good enough to beat New England, so I am rooting for the Patriots to put the Raiders on life support in this one.

There you have it Bills fans, your rooting interests for Week 11.  Let’s hope it plays out the way that I described.

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