Buffalo Bills Playoff Picture: Week 9 Rooting Interests

PITTSBURGH PA - JANUARY 15: Marcus Smtih #11 of the Baltimore Ravens tackles Antwaan Randle El #82 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during a kick return in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Heinz Field on January 15 2011 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

The Buffalo Bills are sitting in prime playoff position at 5-2, but with a host of AFC teams with three losses, Buffalo could fall very far down the standings if things don't go their way this weekend. If you're into watching games other than the ones the Bills play, here's this week's primer to help you figure out who to root for.

Big Games For Buffalo
Baltimore Ravens over Pittsburgh
Steelers
This week's game of the week features the top two dogs in the AFC North. Buffalo gains something from either team winning. If Baltimore wins and so does Buffalo, the Bills will be in first place in the AFC but share an identical 6-2 record with the Ravens. If the Steelers come out ahead, it puts some distance between the Ravens and Bills in the Wild Card race. This is the Sunday night game, so every Bills fan will get a chance to check it out.

New York Giants over New England Patriots
Buffalo's home win over New England is the only thing separating the No. 2 and No. 6 playoff seeds. A win by an NFC team over the Patriots (plus a Bills win, of course) would give Buffalo a game-and-a-half advantage - and some breathing room - over the Pats.

Miami Dolphins over Kansas City Chiefs
The Bills hold the tiebreaker over the suddenly resurgent Chiefs. If Miami can pick up a win in the Suck for Luck sweepstakes and knock Kansas City back to .500, it's a double win for the Bills.

Cleveland Browns over Houston Texans
The Texans are one of the teams nipping at Buffalo's heels with three losses. The Browns can even their record at 4-4 while helping the Bills put some distance on a team just a half-game behind them.

Tennessee Titans over Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals hold the tiebreaker over the Bills. The only thing keeping Buffalo ahead of Cincy right now is their lead in the AFC East. It would sure help Buffalo if the Titans could deal the Bengals' playoff chances a blow to even these two teams' record at 5-3.

Denver Broncos over Oakland Raiders
The Bills hold the tiebreaker over the Raiders, so they have a game and a half lead currently. It couldn't hurt to root for Tim Tebow to widen that lead, could it?

Green Bay Packers over San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are only a game back of the Bills, and Buffalo has to travel to San Diego later in the year. An NFC team over an AFC team is pretty much a lock in the rooting game.

Games That Mean Little To Buffalo
Washington Redskins over San Fransisco 49ers
The Bills beat the Redskins, but won't see the Niners. This victory would raise Buffalo's strength of schedule.

Dallas Cowboys over Seattle Seahawks
In the NFC East vs. the NFC West, you root for the NFC East because of strength of schedule - just like Redskins vs. 49ers.

Atlanta Falcons over Indianapolis Colts
As much as it pains me to kick a team while they are down, the Colts play the Patriots, Bengals, Steelers, Ravens, Chiefs, Texans (twice), and Titans (twice). If they continue to lose, those teams' strength of schedule continues to go down.

Games That Likely Won't Matter
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints
St. Louis Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals
These NFC intra-divisional match-ups won't do anything to affect Buffalo or their opponents' strength of schedule. If you're looking for something, the Bucs have native Buffalonian Mike Williams at wideout, and the Saints have many former Bills - most notably defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

Byes: Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings

Playoff Picture
If the games above finish as we hope, this is how Buffalo would stand going into next Sunday:

1 seed - Buffalo (6-2)
2 seed - Baltimore (6-2: lose AFC tiebreaker to BUF, 4-2 to 4-1)
3 seed - Houston (5-4)
4 seed - San Diego (4-4)
5 seed - Pittsburgh (6-3)
6 seed - New England (5-3)
7 (OUT) - Cincinnati (5-3: loses strength of victory tiebreaker to NE)
8 (OUT) - Tennessee (5-3: lose AFC tiebreaker to CIN/NE, 4-2 to 5-3)
9 (OUT) - Kansas City (4-4: lose strength of victory tiebreaker to SD)
10 (OUT) - Oakland (4-4: lose head-to-head tiebreaker to KC; lose AFC West tiebreaker to SD, 1-2 to 2-1)
11 (OUT) - Cleveland (4-4: lose strength of victory tiebreaker to KC; lose head-to-head vs. OAK)
12 (OUT) - New York (4-4: lose AFC record tiebreaker to all 4-4 teams, .500 to 3-4)

Other AFC teams: Denver (3-5), Jacksonville (2-6), Miami (1-7), Indianapolis (0-9)

If the games above go against the Bills, this is how Buffalo would stand up going into next Sunday:

1 seed - Pittsburgh (7-2)
2 seed - New England (6-2)
3 seed - Kansas City (5-3)
4 seed - Houston (6-3)
5 seed - Cincinnati (6-2)
6 seed - Oakland (5-3: lose three-way head-to-head tiebreaker to KC)
7 (OUT) - New York (5-3: lose head-to-head tiebreaker against BAL & OAK for 6 seed*)
8 (OUT) - Buffalo (5-3: lose head-to-head tiebreaker with NYJ)
9 (OUT) - Baltimore (5-3: lose AFC tiebreaker to OAK, 3-2 to 5-3*; lose AFC tiebreaker to BUF, 3-3 to 3-2)
10 (OUT) - San Diego (5-3: lose three-way head-to-head tiebreaker to KC; lose AFC tiebreaker to BUF, 3-3 to 3-2; lose strength of victory tiebreaker to BAL)

Other AFC teams: Tennessee (4-4), Cleveland (3-5), Denver (2-6), Jacksonville (2-6), Indianapolis (1-8), Miami (0-8)

* Note - Once Oakland is seeded N0. 6, the three-way tiebreaker no longer comes into play and the Jets' conference record is better than Baltimore's in the next three-way race between those two teams and San Diego.

The above scenario is worse for the Bills long-term, but in the short term, the worst scenario is Tennessee wins and Buffalo loses which forces an EIGHT-way tie at 5-3. Here's how that would look:

1 seed - Pittsburgh (7-2)
2 seed - New England (6-2)
3 seed - Kansas City (5-3)
4 seed - Houston (6-3)
5 seed - Cincinnati (5-3)
6 seed - Tennessee (5-3: lose AFC tiebreaker to CIN, 5-3 to 4-2)
7 (OUT) - Oakland (5-3: lose three-way head-to-head tiebreaker to KC; lose AFC tiebreaker to CIN, 5-3 to 4-2; lose strength of schedule tiebreaker to TEN^)
8 (OUT) - New York (5-3: lose AFC tiebreaker to CIN, 5-3 to 4-3; lose head-to-head tiebreaker against BAL & OAK for 7 position*)
9 (OUT) - Buffalo (5-3: lose head-to-head tiebreaker with NYJ)
10 (OUT) - Baltimore (5-3: lose AFCN tiebreaker to CIN, 1-1 to 1-0, lose AFC tiebreaker to OAK, 3-2 to 5-3*; lose AFC tiebreaker to BUF, 3-3 to 3-2)
11 (OUT) - San Diego (5-3: lose three-way head-to-head tiebreaker to KC; lose AFC tiebreaker to BUF, 3-3 to 3-2; lose strength of victory tiebreaker to BAL)

Other AFC teams: Cleveland (3-5), Denver (2-6), Jacksonville (2-6), Indianapolis (1-8), Miami (0-8)

^ Note - based only on games played to this point

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

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,

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