AFC Playoff Picture: Week 16

It’s the question that all Bills fans are wondering: how can the Bills make the playoffs and end the 17-year drought?  There are many possibilities and scenarios that we could cover, but I want to take a look at the most likely scenarios.  First, here is where things currently stand:

Week16For the first time during the drought, the Bills currently sit in a playoff spot through 15 weeks.  Impressive for McDermott in just his first year.  And for just the 2nd time in the drought (2004), the Bills will be alive with playoff scenarios in Week 17.

Let’s go with the outcome that the majority of Bills fans predict: a 9-7 finish.

The Bills will make the playoffs with a 9-7 finish (with the win coming at Miami) if:

  • Baltimore looses once


  • Tennessee wins this week and looses next week


  • Tennessee looses 2 games AND Los Angeles looses once


Remember, that all three of those outcomes do not need to happen, just one of them.  That being said, let’s take a look at who we need to be rooting for this week.

Indianapolis @ Baltimore
If there was ever a time to be a Colts fan, it is this Saturday evening.  A Colts win would get the Bills in a 9-7 (as long as the Bills win is against Miami and not New England).  Root so hard for the Colts in this one that you burn a hole in your couch.

LA Rams @ Tennessee
There are scenarios with either team winning that can get the Bills into the playoffs, but the predictive models give the Bills a better chance of getting in with the Titans winning this game.  Don’t let people fool you into thinking rooting for a contender to win is bad for the Bills.  The math shows that it is better to root for a Tennessee win.  Go Titans!!

LA Chargers @ NY Jets
We have been Jets fans many times this year, and we need them to come through for us one more time.  Anthony Lynn will be making his return to New York and let’s hope that the Chargers lay one of their late season eggs that they are known for.  I’m not ashamed to say it…J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets!!!

If those three results hold, then the Bills would be in a “win and you’re in” situation against the Dolphins in Week 17.


That is the plan, it will be fun to watch it play out this weekend.

2 thoughts on “AFC Playoff Picture: Week 16

  1. I’ve heard that the Titans winning this week is good for the Bills from different sources. In what way does it help the Bills? Tennesee is sitting higher than Buffalo in the playoff race, and they are playing an NFC team. The only thing that makes sense is that it weakens the strength of schedule among other contenders…. is that it? Can anyone weigh in on this?


    • Great question. The only way that the Bills can get in over LA Chargers at 9-7 is a 3-way tie at that spot. So, we want the Titans to get to 9-7 (the win must come against the NFC opponent or else they pass the Bills on AFC record).

      The Bills get in over TEN and LA in a 3-way tie. If it is just BUF and LA at 9-7 then LA gets in every time due to the win earlier in the year.


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