AFC East Playoff Picture: Bills Still Control Their Own Destiny

Despite how poorly the Bills have played this year, going into last week’s Monday night game the Bills were in great position to still earn the top seed in the AFC. Their 14-10 loss to the Patriots has cut their #1 seed chances to around 5%, but their AFC East chances are still in their own hands. You may have noticed the title of these series changed from “Chase For The #1 Seed” to “AFC Playoff Picture.” With their AFC East chances in their own hands, but the #1 seed almost gone for good, it was time to make the change.

If the Bills win out, they will win the AFC East. If the Bills lose today, they will need the Patriots to lose to either the Colts, Jaguars, or Dolphins. The easiest way for the Bills to get in is for them to take care of their own business over the next 5 weeks. Obviously, that is much easier said than done with a matchup against the defending world champions today.

AFC Standings

  1. New England 9-4
  2. Tennessee 8-4
  3. Baltimore 8-4
  4. Kansas City 8-4
  5. Los Angeles 7-5
  6. Cincinnati 7-5
  7. Buffalo 7-5
  8. Indianapolis 7-6
  9. Las Vegas 6-6
  10. Pittsburgh 6-6-1
  11. Cleveland 6-6
  12. Denver 6-6

The Bills are barely holding on to the final wild card spot in the AFC right now. A loss today would result in the Bills out of playoff position with just four games left in the season. The Patriots are on a very late bye this week, which takes away the most important game for Buffalo besides their own. Despite that, now that the Bills could be in a struggle for their playoff lives, they will be watching nearly all of the games in the AFC today.

Baltimore @ Cleveland
For those of you who are still hoping for the top seed in the conference, rooting against the Ravens would be the plan for today. A loss by Baltimore would drop the Ravens’ AFC record to 5-5, which would match the Bills’ record in the conference.

Jacksonville @ Tennessee
Three weeks ago the Bills received a tremendous amount of help with the Titans losing to the Texans. Since then, the Bills have been unable to take care of their own business, and they find themselves back to 2 games (including tiebreak) behind the Titans. It may be greedy asking for the Titans to lose to the Jaguars as well, but it would shift the dynamic at the top of the conference.

Las Vegas @ Kansas City
The Bills do hold the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Chiefs, their lone “good” win of the year. Root for the Raiders today, as it will drop the Chiefs to 5 losses on the year. If the Bills do win the AFC East, they will do so with either 5 or 6 losses, so dropping the Chiefs to 5 is essential.

NY Giants @ LA Chargers
For tiebreaker purposes the Bills will want the Chiefs or the Broncos to win the AFC West. The Bills hold the head-to-head against the Chiefs and most likely would against Denver, as well. But the Chargers are 5-3 in the conference, while the Bills are 5-5. Keeping the Chargers away from the Bills will benefit Buffalo’s seeding. Root for the Giants today.

San Francisco @ Cincinnati
The Bengals are very similar to the Chargers in that they have 7-5 record and are 5-3 in the conference. In this AFC vs NFC matchup, root for the NFC.

Buffalo @ Tampa Bay
If the Bills win today, the AFC East will be firmly back in play. And depending on how the rest of the day plays out, we may be talking about the 1 seed once again.

There you have it Bills fans. A ton of games with implications with week. It should be a fun day in the league.

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