The Buffalo Bills have looked downright awful in the past two weeks, falling from the second spot in the AFC with two straight losses. Even with those performances in mind, the season is certainly far from over. We said it when they started well and it's time to say it again when they are in a rut.
The biggest win to help the Bills this week was Pittsburgh knocking off division rival Cincinnati. The Bengals' tie-breaker over Buffalo is still going to be hard to overcome but Cincy's division schedule is no cakewalk the remainder of the way. Baltimore falling to Seattle was another huge victory for the Bills playoff chances. It kept Buffalo only one game from a playoff spot as you'll see after the jump.Here's what the playoffs would look like should they begin tomorrow:
1 seed - Houston (7-3)
2 seed - Pittsburgh (7-3: lose AFC tie-breaker to HOU, 6-2 to 5-3)
3 seed - New England (6-3)
4 seed - Oakland (5-4)
5 seed - Baltimore (6-3)
6 seed - Cincinnati (6-3: lose AFCN tie-breaker to BAL, 2-0 to 1-1)
7 (OUT) - New York (5-4)
8 (OUT) - Buffalo (5-4: lose head-to-head tie-breaker vs. NYJ)
9 (OUT) - Tennessee (5-4: lose strength of victory tie-breaker to NYJ, 19 to 15; lose AFC tie-breaker to BUF, 3-2 to 4-4)
10 (OUT) - San Diego (4-5)
11 (OUT) - Denver (4-5: lose head-to-head-to-head tie-breaker with SD & KC to SD, 3-2 to 1-1 to 1-3)
12 (OUT) - Kansas City (4-5: lose head-to-head tie-breaker with DEN)
Other AFC Teams: Jacksonville (3-6), Cleveland (3-6), Miami (2-7), Indianapolis (0-10)
While it's true Buffalo has to get back to their winning ways, the reality is if they can get themselves turned around, an AFC playoff spot won't be hard to attain.
The reason New York's loss last night was so huge lies in divisional record. If the Jets had won, they would have been 3-1 in the division, including a win over Buffalo and a season split with the Patriots. It would have made the Week 12 match-up a must-win game for the Bills just to tie in the divisional record. Instead, New York is now 2-2 in the AFC East. If the Jets had split with New England and beaten the Bills twice, all the tie-breakers would have gone to the Jets (presuming they handle their business against the Dolphins). Now, a three-way tie-breaker battle can still take place, even if the Bills fall to the Jets in a couple of weeks. It's still a big game, just as this weekend's game in South Florida is.
As of right now, Buffalo has no must-win games on their schedule. They'll still need to go 5-2 or 6-1 down the stretch to give themselves a shot. If they go 4-3 the rest of the way - winning each of their divisional games - they would still likely miss the playoffs thanks to their loss to the Bengals, who still have Cleveland, St. Louis, and Arizona on their schedule.