AFC East Playoff Picture: Division Likely To Be Decided Today

As the week has gone on, the importance of today Bills/Patriots game has increased. The winner of this game is almost certain to win the division. In fact, the Patriots could wrap up the AFC East today if they win and the Dolphins lose. The Bills would have to wait until Week 18 to win the division, but the only thing that would stand in their way would be the Falcons and Jets the next two weeks. Today is for the AFC East. Period.

AFC Playoff Picture

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

The Bills continue to hold onto the final spot in the AFC. The Bills will either jump into the 3 or 4 spot today, or they will fall out of playoff position completely. The Colts defeating the Cardinals last night made today that much more important for Buffalo. After playing around with the ESPN Playoff Machine it is safe to say that if the Bills lose today then the final playoff spot will come down to Buffalo, Baltimore, and Cincinnati. The Bills’ easiest path continues to be through the division and if they fail to do so, the playoffs would be in serious jeopardy this year.

Buffalo @ New England
No game is bigger than this one today for both teams. You know the story by now, if the Bills win they take control of the division and are in prime position to host a home playoff game. If the Bills lose today, they lose the division and could miss the playoffs entirely. There is no situation where the Bills losing today would be a positive. All of the happy and peaceful times of the Christmas season will quickly be forgotten if the Patriots win.

Baltimore @ Cincinnati
The Bills stand a better chance of winning a tiebreaker over the Ravens than they do the Bengals due to AFC conference record. I would root for the Bengals in this one.

LA Chargers @ Houston
The Chargers are a team that would be hard for the Bills to get the head-to-head advantage on, unless Los Angeles loses two of their final three games. The Bills won’t have to worry about tiebreakers against the Chargers unless they lose to the Patriots today. For contingency plan purposes, root for the Texans.

Pittsburgh @ Kansas City
The result of the Bills game at 1pm will dictate who we root for in this game at 4:30pm. There is a very real possibility that the Bills could still get the 2 seed in the AFC. For that to happen, one of the things that would have to happen would be the Chiefs would have to lose 2 of their final 3 games (PIT, @BAL, @DEN). If the Bills lose today, the Steelers passing the Bills for the Wild Card could become a concern. We will know the result of the Bills game before this game begins so play this game by ear. If the Bills win then root for the Steelers and if the Bills lose root for the Chiefs.

Denver @ Las Vegas
The Broncos have a much worse conference record than the Bills and it is doubtful they would pass the Bills for a wild card spot. While hoping for better playoff positioning Bills fans could find themselves rooting for the Raiders in the next two weeks. Because of that it is better to get the Raiders to 8 losses on the year this week, putting them firmly in the Bills rear-view mirror.

There are your Week 16 rooting interests. All eyes should be on Foxborough, as I’m sure they will be. Follow us on Twitter @Buff_Authority for more analysis throughout the week.

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