Updated Look at AFC Contenders (Pre-Dallas Game)

Simply put: The Bills have a 2 game lead with 5 to play.  Before you jump all over those odds, you might want to take a look at what lies ahead for the Bills, and for the rest of the AFC.  The Bills have the toughest schedule out of the contenders, and it really isn’t close.  Here is where things stand going into the Thanksgiving Day game against Dallas.

billsplayoffs3.5

A couple takeaways from this table:

  1. The AFC South is about to come very messy (as always).  Houston will probably lose at NE, which opens the door for the winner of Colts/Titans to be the front runner for the division.  Bills fans want the Titans to stay in the Wild Card race since they have the head-to-head tiebreak.  I didn’t include the Titans in here for that reason, but they might make an appearance later in the year.  Since the Bills didn’t play the Colts or Texans this year, the tiebreak against them would be conference record.  Right now, those conference records are Bills (6-2), Colts (5-5) and Texans (6-2).  The Bills do not want to get into a Wild Card battle with the Texans.  The Colts would be the better bet.  Looking like the Bills will have the tiebreaker against the Colts and Titans, root for the Texans to win that division.
  2. Cleveland is quite possibly (probably) going to be a problem.  Despite being 3 games back of the Bills, they do have the head-to-head tiebreaker against them and they also have the easiest schedule to finish the year, with their opponents having a .336 winning percentage.  The Bills’ opponents are .636, for comparison.  Root for the Steelers this week to get the Browns to 7 losses, something (hopefully!) that the Bills will not get to this year.
  3. This week’s weighted DVOA rankings indicate that the Bills are playing much better, with them currently sitting in the 14th spot.  The Raiders are going backwards, currently in the 24th spot.  After their embarrassing loss in New Jersey last weekend, I would not worry about the Raiders at this point.

As the week has gone on, I have went from expecting a loss today to expecting the Bills to be in the game right until the end.  In fact, while reading about how the Cowboys are on the verge of a meltdown, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills walked out of Dallas 9-3.  It sure would be nice.  Enjoy the holiday, everyone!  Follow us on Twitter at @BuffAuthority.

Oh, and one more thing:

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