Well, that wasn’t ideal. There was a very low chance that the Bills were going to beat the Patriots this past weekend, but it would have been nice if the Bills got some help from the rest of the league. The Chiefs losing and the Chargers winning were the only games that really went their way. Here is a look at the current standings:
As you can see, the Bills have fallen to 8th in the AFC standings, which is the lowest that they have been all year. There are three winnable games left for the Bills, setting themselves up for a 9-7 finish. Just weeks ago, 9-7 looked like a certainty to make the playoffs, but not anymore. If the Bills finish 9-7 they will need a lot of help.
I am going to stick with the same 3 paths that I outlined last week. I think these are the easiest ways for the Bills to make the playoffs.
Here are 3 different ways for the Bills to make the playoffs if they finish 9-7:
- Jacksonville wins the AFC South, Tennessee loses as much as possible.
- Baltimore finishes 8-8 (there is a path where Buffalo wins a 9-7 tiebreak with them, but it is so slim that it is not worth mentioning yet).
- LA Chargers win the AFC West and Kansas City or Oakland finish 9-7 or worse
With those goals in mind, let’s take a look at the important games for this week:
Indianapolis @ Buffalo
Obviously, none bigger than this one. The Bills need to take care of their own business first before they worry about getting help from other teams. Regardless of who starts at QB for the Bills, this game should be a win.
Oakland @ Kansas City
You can make a case for both outcomes, but I would think it would be better for the Raiders to win. I believe Kansas City is a better team (and with games coming up against the Dolphins and Broncos) it would be best to get them to 7 losses this week.
Tennessee @ Arizona
Root hard for Arizona in this one. Tennessee has been flirting with defeat the past few weeks but have prevailed. The Titans need to finish 1-3 in these final four games for the Bills to have a shot at ending the drought through the Tennessee path outlined above.
Washington @ LA Chargers
Anthony Lynn has to come through for us. The Bills need the Chargers to win the AFC West. Not only that, but it would be ideal if the Chargers won-out to finish 10-6. Let’s hope it starts this week.
Seattle @ Jacksonville
The only way for the Bills to pass the Jags is if they finish the year 0-4. That is not going to happen so the Bills need the Jags to win the AFC South. Root for the Jaguars in this one.
Baltimore @ Pittsburgh
Outside of their own game, this is the biggest game of the weekend for the Bills. The Ravens will need to finish 1-3 down the stretch for the Bills to have a shot at the postseason. With games still coming against Cleveland and Indianapolis, a Ravens win in this one would be catastrophic to the Bills’ playoff chances.
There they are Bills fans, your rooting interests for this week. Over the next month of the season there will be tons of scoreboard watching. A lot can change in just one week, we’ll just have to tune in to find out. Follow me on Twitter @m_lafave for more analysis!