AFC Playoff Picture: Week 5

Playoffs?!?  Yup.  That’s what a hot start will do for you.  Even with the Patriots handing the Bills their first loss of the season this past weekend, the 3-1 Bills hold the 3rd best record in the AFC.  It is never too early to start thinking about playoffs, especially with important AFC match ups that could dictate tiebreakers later in the season.

  1. New England 4-0
  2. Kansas City 4-0
  3. Houston 2-2
  4. Cleveland 2-2
  5. Buffalo 3-1
  6. Oakland 2-2

I fear that Bills fans aren’t playing this game up as much as they should.  This is a HUGE game for them.  Heading into the bye at 4-1 would solidify their 3-0 start.  While 3-2 at the bye isn’t disastrous, the Bills would have wasted an opportunity to separate themselves from the rest of the AFC, along with New England and Kansas City.

Let’s take a look at some of the important AFC games this week and rooting interests.

Buffalo @ Tennessee
The Bills have a chance to get the head-to-head tiebreaker against an AFC South team that will probably be in the Wild Card discussion at the end of the season.  Without over looking this game, the 3 straight home games after the bye should have you excited.  If the Bills can get to 4-1, I firmly believe they will make the playoffs this year.

Chicago @ Oakland
Oakland currently sits in the 2nd Wild Card position due to tiebreakers, but there is a log jam of teams at 2-2. Root for Kahlil Mack and his return to Oakland to be a big one for the Bears.

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh
The Bills will get a chance to play both of these teams later in the year, but for now I think it would be best for Baltimore to rack up the losses.  I would root for Pittsburgh here.

New England @ Washington
Obviously it would be awesome if the Redskins could knock off the Pats, but I wouldn’t be expecting this game to be the upset of the week.

Jacksonville @ Carolina
The Jags have fought back to 2-2 after it looked like their season was going off of the rails just 2 weeks in.  Root for Carolina to send Doug Marrone and company below .500

Atlanta @ Houston
I would think that they Texans will prevail to win the AFC South, but it’s not a bad idea to hand an AFC contender another loss.

Denver @ LA Chargers
While the Texans may not be a Wild Card contender, the Chargers certainly are.  A 2-2 record is a slow start to the season for Anthony Lynn’s crew.  Root for an unlikely win by the Broncos in this one.

Indianapolis @ Kansas City
Assuming the Chiefs will run away with the AFC West, I don’t consider them a team that the Bills will have to compete with for a Wild Card spot.  The Colts are, however.  Despite Luck’s sudden retirement the Colts have gotten off to a 2-2 start, so a loss would help the Bills in that muddied AFC South.

Cleveland @ San Francisco
Who are the Browns?  Are they a contender?  I guess it depends on the week.  Root for the NFC team in this one, as the Browns will probably be in the discussion in November/December.

That’s it…a ton of important AFC games with playoff implications and it is never too early to start looking at how the conference is shaping up.  Despite all of this, no game is bigger than the Bills’ own game.  Let’s hope they take care of business in that one.

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