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Bills Playoff Chase: Who to Root For

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This is the second year of the Marv Levy and Dick Jauron era in Buffalo, and much like the first year, the Bills find themselves on the edge of playoff contention as the season hits the stretch run. At 5-5, the Bills are currently tied with three other teams at .500 and rank 9th in the AFC standings. And, like last year, if the Bills hope to continue to contend until the final weeks of the season, they are going to need some help from other teams.

In that light, I thought it would be beneficial to take a look at what will be happening in the rest of the AFC playoff chase games this weekend. This guide will outline all of the games relevant to the 2007 future of the Bills, and which team you should be pulling for should the Bills continue to keep themselves alive with a victory of their own:

Bills (5-5) at Jaguars (7-3)
With Marshawn Lynch OUT, we need all the help we can get.

Colts 31, Falcons 13
- Yes, this game is already over. But this Colts win was a good thing for the Bills - not only because we want the Colts to win the South, but because it keeps pressure on the Jaguars to win to keep pace with Indy in the AFC South standings. I like it when there's pressure on the Jags, because history indicates that they don't respond well to it. With the Colts win, next week's Jags/Colts matchup is all the more important, making it a touch more likely that the Jags will overlook the Bills.

Dolphins (0-10) at Steelers (7-3)
- A Steelers loss doesn't really help or hurt the Bills - if I had to choose, I'd root for the Steelers in this one, because things simplify a bit if they distance themselves from Cleveland in the North. Plus, it's the Dolphins... do we really have a choice in regards to who to root for? Go Steelers!

Ravens (4-6) at Chargers (5-5)
- This one's easier to pick than I originally thought - the Bills really, really need one, and only one, team to emerge out of the AFC West. Right now, I like Denver out there - they're 5-5, tied with the Chargers atop the West, and they do not play a team with a current record above .500 in their remaining six games (San Diego included). Meanwhile, the Chargers must face the Titans and Lions, as well as Denver, who has won two straight. The Chargers really need to go down, and we hold a tie-breaker over Baltimore. Go Ravens!

Eagles (5-5) at Patriots (10-0)
- Yeah... this one doesn't really affect anyone except the Colts. And it's not going to happen, but go Eagles.

Texans (5-5) at Browns (6-4)
- This one was the most difficult of all to call. As easy as it is to say "pick Houston" because of Cleveland's record, the Bills can't really afford to have all four AFC South teams potentially ahead of them in the standings after this weekend - that would be killer. Plus, the Bills meet the Browns later on in the season, so they control their own destiny of sorts in that game. Go Browns!

Raiders (2-8) at Chiefs (4-6)
- This one is easy. The Bills can't be tied with the Chiefs, amongst many others, if they lose this weekend. Go Raiders.

Titans (6-4) at Bengals (3-7)
- Another easy one. Tennessee's on a two-game slide and they're on the road - never a sure thing in the NFL, even including the Bengals' porous defense in that equation. Let's hope Carson Palmer can channel the spirit of, well, Carson Palmer circa 2006 and upset the Titans in this one. Go Bengals!

Broncos (5-5) at Bears (4-6)
- Sure, we want the Broncos to pull away in the AFC West... but so long as the Chargers are going down, what does it hurt for Denver to lose this week too? Truth is, it won't. Go Bears!