AFC Playoff Picture At The Quarter Mark

The NFL season that seemed like it would never arrive is already at the quarter point. As far as the quest for a 3rd playoff berth in 4 seasons, things could not look any better for Buffalo so far. The Bills next game (opponent and location) could change at any moment, but that doesn’t prevent us from taking a look at the slate of games that will be going on as planned this weekend.

First, a look at the standings:

1) Kansas City 4-0
2) Buffalo 4-0
3) Tennessee 3-0
4) Pittsburgh 3-0
5) Baltimore 3-1
6) Indianapolis 3-1
7) Cleveland 3-1
8) New England 2-2

The Bills have a 2-game lead in the AFC East for the first time since Week 12 of 1995. They have padded their 4-0 start this year with a 2-0 division record and a 3-0 conference record. You’ll notice in the games I mention below that a lot of the rooting interests are centered around the top 4 seeds, home-field advantage and a first round bye. I think we have graduated from chasing a final Wild Card spot and it is time to turn our attention to bigger and better prizes. At this point, this is a 2 horse race for the division and I like Buffalo’s chances already.

Important Week 5 games:

Buffalo @ Tennessee
You’d have to doubt this game will happen. Already moved to Tuesday night, one more positive test for the Titans and this game will be postponed. As of early Tuesday morning, the game appears to be on-track. This is a big game for the Bills, as it could mean a lot down the road for the top 4 seeds in the AFC. Every game is big in the NFL, but an AFC game against a contender means a little bit more.

Las Vegas @ Kansas City
The Bills and Chiefs will be battling for the top seeds in the AFC all year, so it would be best to root for Las Vegas in this one. A Chiefs loss would also buy the Bills a little room for error in their game next week.

Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh
In the battle of Pennsylvania, an Eagles win should be what we are rooting for. The Steelers also will be a contender for the duration of the season, and while the Bills will get their chance with them later in the year getting them off the list of unbeatens would be ideal.

Cincinnati @ Baltimore
The same story from above also goes for Baltimore since the Steelers and/or Ravens will be competing with the Bills for a top 4 seed come January.

Indianapolis @ Cleveland
This one is a toss up. Both teams are 3-1 and 1-1 in the conference. Unless the Bills lose the division and slip into a Wild Card spot, I wouldn’t worry much about Cleveland disrupting the Bills playoff chances. The Colts on the other hand could hang around in the AFC South with the Titans COVID situation being what it is. I think you can root for either team in this one and it wouldn’t move the needle much for the Bills.

Denver @ New England
With Newton and Gilmore unable to play this week, it is not impossible to think the Broncos could make this one interesting. The rooting interest is obvious in this one: Denver all the way.

There they are! Enjoy the slate of games this weekend. If it involves the Bills, great! If it doesn’t, I don’t think an extra week to recover from some injuries is a bad thing right now. Either way, the Bills are in excellent shape at the quarter point of the year and the division title is squarely on the table.

Follow us on Twitter at @BuffAuthority and @m_lafave.

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