Buffalo Bills Playoff Picture: Hope Fading Quickly

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 20: Reggie Bush #22 of the Miami Dolphins shakes hands with Andra Davis #54 of the Buffalo Bills following a game at Sun Life Stadium on November 20, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Buffalo Bills have lost more than just three straight games in November. They've plummeted from the second seed in the AFC to completely out of the playoff picture. To make matters worse than their play on the field, teams above them have continued to win - and now the Bills need help.

Buffalo will be 11-5 if they run the table, which may or may not be good enough to get them into the playoffs. The New England Patriots are 7-3, and even a Week 17 loss to the Bills may only knock them to four in the loss column. The remaining games for the Patriots don't look too difficult, as they face struggling Philadelphia, Indianapolis and Washington teams over the next three weeks before a game at Denver that could prove to be their toughest remaining test. They finish the season with divisional home games with Miami and the Bills.

Outside of the division, the AFC North is going to prove tough to overcome. Both the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers have games remaining against San Fransisco and Cincinnati. They would have to lose both of those games just for Buffalo to catch them in the standings, and that doesn't take into account any tie-breakers. It's probably safe to assume that both of those teams make the playoffs, with one getting the first wild card slot.

That leaves just the second wild card slot, and the task is daunting. The Cincinnati Bengals' Week 4 victory over Buffalo gives them the first tie-breaker if it came down to just the Bengals and Bills for the final spot. Cincy's remaining schedule features tough games against the Steelers and Houston Texans, as well as a Week 17 matchup with the Ravens. They also see Cleveland, St. Louis and Arizona in their final six contests.

Other contenders for the final wild card spot will all play Buffalo in the coming weeks, giving the Bills some form of hope that they can turn it around and claw their way back into the playoff picture. This weekend's game against the New York Jets, as well as games against the Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos, pit Buffalo against all three of the other AFC teams currently sitting at 5-5. They also face the 4-6 San Diego Chargers, who have historically made a late-season surge.

If you still hold out hope that Buffalo can make the playoffs - and based on their play the last three weeks, it's probably a very small minority of you - they will need some help. They are, however, very much alive in the divisional and wild card races if they can somehow turn it around.

If the playoffs began today, here's how the AFC would stack up.

No. 1: New England Patriots (7-3)
No. 2: Houston Texans (7-3; lose 33-26 strength of victory tie-breaker to NE)
No. 3: Baltimore Ravens (7-3; lose conference record tie-breaker to NE and HOU)
No. 4: Oakland Raiders (6-4)
No. 5: Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3; lose head-to-head tie-breaker to BAL)
No. 6: Cincinnati Bengals (6-4)

No. 7: Denver Broncos (5-5)
No. 8: Tennessee Titans (5-5; lose conference record tie-breaker to DEN)
No. 9: New York Jets (5-5; lose conference record tie-breaker to TEN)
No. 10: Buffalo Bills (5-5; lose head-to-head tie-breaker to NYJ)

Also-rans: San Diego Chargers (4-6), Cleveland Browns (4-6), Kansas City Chiefs (4-6), Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7), Miami Dolphins (3-7), Indianapolis Colts (0-10)

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Buffalo Rumblings

You must be a member of Buffalo Rumblings to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Buffalo Rumblings. You should read them.

Join Buffalo Rumblings

You must be a member of Buffalo Rumblings to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Buffalo Rumblings. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker