Chase For the #1 Seed: A Chance to Rise

The Bills come into the day 4th in the conference, but by the time the day is over they could be sitting atop the AFC in the number 1 spot. Thanks to some favorable outcomes the past two weeks, the Bills are once again clear favorites to finish the season in the top spot, according to Football Outsiders. Let’s take a look at how it can happen:

AFC Standings

  1. Tennessee 6-2
  2. Las Vegas 5-2
  3. Baltimore 5-2
  4. Buffalo 5-2
  5. Cincinnati 5-3
  6. Pittsburgh 4-3
  7. LA Chargers 4-3

The log jam of 2-loss teams at the top of the conference is still there, but this is the week that we may start to see the top teams separate. As we know, the Titans lost their MVP this week in Derick Henry. With Henry being out for the season, it is tough to think we will see the Titans hold on to the top spot for much longer. The Bills still have two more weak opponents in the Jaguars and Jets before they hit a more difficult part of their schedule. They must take advantage of these back-to-back opportunities for wins

Buffalo @ Jacksonville
A Bills win would do two things for them: obviously move their record to 6-2, but also improve their conference record to 5-2, a key tiebreaker against teams that they do not have head-to-head matchups against. This is an expected win and a loss here would bring on many questions, including if the team is even worthy of a #1 seed to begin with.

Cleveland @ Cincinnati
The Bengals are fresh off of a shocking loss against the Jets, and I don’t see them losing twice in a row. A Bengals win wouldn’t be crushing to the Bills by any means, but getting both of these AFC North teams to 4 losses on the year would be ideal. Let the tough AFC North beat up on eachother and trade losses is always something Bills fans should be rooting for this time of year.

Las Vegas @ NY Giants
I am surprised to see the Raiders hanging around this long, and with a game against the Giants, we might continue to see them at the top of the standings. The Giants did play the Chiefs hard last week and I would not be surprised to see New York come away with this win, although I don’t expect it. Obviously, Bills fans should be rotting for the team in their neighboring state of New Jersey here.

New England @ Carolina
The Patriots have battled back to .500 from a 2-4 start. A win today would put them above .500 for the first time this year. The Patriots are starting to come on, and two big matchups against the Bills are looming in December. Any loss the Patriots can gather always benefits the Bills. it may seem obvious, but root for Carolina in this one.

Minnesota @ Baltimore
The Bills got some serious help two weeks ago with the Ravens losing to the Bengals. After accounting for Derick Henry’s injury, the Ravens are the biggest threat the Bills for the #1 seed. If the Vikings would beat the Ravens on the road today, it would have huge implications for the #1 seed. The Ravens still have the 10th hardest schedule remaining against he Rams, packers and five more divisional games.

Tennessee @ LA Rams
Outside of their own game, this is the biggest game of the weekend for the Bills. The Titans currently have the easiest remaining schedule in the league, thanks to two games against the Texans, and one against the Jags and Dolphins. The Rams is undoubtedly the hardest game left on the Titans schedule. A loss here would give them 3 losses and move them below the Bills in the standings. Remember, the Bills will need to finish with 1 less loss than the Titans in the end. A tie in the standings will break the Titans’ way because of their win against them a few weeks ago.

Hopefully a stress-free Bills game followed by a day of scoreboard watching is in store for Bills fans. If all goes the Bills’ way today, the Bills could be sitting atop the conference once again, something they can hopefully hold onto for the rest of the year.

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