The Buffalo Bills' 27-11 loss to the New York Jets yesterday was a big deal, but there were other games that mattered this weekend. With the loss, Buffalo dropped into a large contingent of AFC teams at 5-3 - including the team from Jersey - but got some help and didn't fall as far as they could have.
In the early games, Houston kept up their winning ways, pushing themselves to six wins with a victory over Cleveland. Miami did Buffalo a favor, knocking off Kansas City to keep one team from the 5-3 mess. Later in the day, several of those teams in the mix for the playoff spot fell. New England, Oakland, Tennessee, and San Diego all lost in the late games.
The biggest game of the week was the Sunday night matchup, where Baltimore knocked off Pittsburgh, keeping the AFC tightly packed with eight teams separated by one loss and 11 teams within two games of the top spot in the conference.
If the playoffs began today, Buffalo would be watching from home.
1 seed - Cincinnati (6-2*)
2 seed - Houston (6-3)
3 seed - New England (5-3)
4 seed - San Diego (4-4)
5 seed - Baltimore (6-2*: lose record vs. common opponents tiebreaker to CIN, 0-2 to 2-0)
6 seed - Pittsburgh (6-3)
7 (OUT) - New York (5-3: lose head-to-head tiebreaker to NE)
8 (OUT) - Buffalo (5-3: lose AFCE tiebreaker to NY/NE, 2-1 to 1-1; lose head-to-head tiebreaker to NY)
9 (OUT) - Tennessee (4-4)
10 (OUT) - Kansas City (4-4: lose strength of victory tiebreaker to SD; lose strength of victory tiebreaker to TEN)
11 (OUT) - Oakland (4-4: lose AFC West tiebreaker to SD, 1-2 to 2-1; lose head-to-head tiebreaker to KC)
Rest of AFC teams: Denver (3-5), Cleveland (3-5), Jacksonville (2-6), Miami (1-7), Indianapolis (0-9)
*BAL and CIN are both undefeated in the division, which is why the Bengals are the 1 seed this morning. To be clear, the Ravens have a 2-0 AFCN record while the Bengals are 1-0, so their percentage is equal, but the record isn't. The NFL uses the percentage.
While this might seem like a significant decline, a Buffalo win this weekend coupled with a Patriots victory over the Jets puts the Bills back on top of the AFC East and as high as the first overall seed in the AFC. The Bengals also start their very difficult second-half schedule this week by facing the Steelers, so one of those two teams will lose ahead of the Bills.