The Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs are playing each other at Ralph Wilson Stadium this Sunday, and with both teams at 5-3, this mid-season game carries with it a great deal of playoff implications - not just for the teams involved, but for the conference as a whole. Marshall Faulk took notice of that, and has a question for the communities here and at Arrowhead Pride:
Without further ado, these are the top five reasons that the Bills need a win more than the Chiefs do this weekend.
No. 5: Three of the Bills' five wins to date have come against NFC North foes, leaving them at just 2-3 against the AFC (with both wins coming in the division). Kansas City, however, is 4-2 against the conference. If the Bills fall to 2-4, the Chiefs improve to 5-2, and the Bills are on the short end of a tie-breaker with both San Diego and Kansas City, that would be very bad for their playoff chances.
No. 4: The Chiefs play the Oakland Raiders twice as often (twice) as the Bills do (once) in the final eight weeks of the season. (That's mostly a joke - the Raiders have been playing pretty good football lately under Tony Sparano - but obviously, those are games that both of these teams should expect to win.)
No. 3: Kansas City, even if they lose this weekend, arguably has a better shot of usurping Denver for the AFC West crown than the Bills do with New England in the East. Assuming Denver beats Oakland on Sunday, they'll be 7-2, and potentially two games up on the Chiefs, while the Bills would be one game behind 7-2 New England at 6-3. I think I'd still like the Chiefs' odds at a division crown more than the Bills', because while the Bills travel to Foxboro for their rematch, Kansas City gets Denver at home.
No. 2: Both teams have difficult schedules down the stretch, but Kansas City has a nice mix of home and away games - alternating between the two every week - to maintain some balance. The Bills, meanwhile, play three of their last four games of the season on the road - including trips to New England and Denver - so it's imperative that they pile up as many wins as they can in the next few weeks.
No. 1: On that last theme, this is a home game for the Bills. They're 3-1 on the road, but only 2-2 at Ralph Wilson Stadium this season. If the Bills can't beat a similarly-structured, playoff-caliber team on their home field, then they have no business calling themselves playoff contenders. Period.