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AFC playoff picture: Buffalo Bills sit ninth and need lots of help

The Buffalo Bills sit ninth and need a lot of help to get into playoff position next week.

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Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Buffalo Bills posted an improbable victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday and while it kept them in the playoff picture, they didn't get a ton of help from the rest of the NFL. Here's where they stand:

Division leaders:

  1. New England Patriots (11-3): The Patriots clinched the AFC East with a win over the Miami Dolphins. Now they're playing for home field advantage which a win next week could sew up with a Denver loss.
  2. Denver Broncos (11-3): They can lock up a bye with a win next week but need a New England loss to get the one seed. They have their division clinched.
  3. Indianapolis Colts (10-4): A loss to the Broncos means they need to run the table and some help to get a bye. They've locked up their division.
  4. Cincinnati Bengals (9-4-1): They own the slimmest of divisional leads and games against Denver and at Pittsburgh loom.

Wild Card position:

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5): Games against Kansas City and Cincinnati mean they control their own - and several other teams' - destiny.
  2. Baltimore Ravens (9-5): If they can dispatch Houston's third-string QB and the Johnny Manziel-led Browns, they're in.

In the hunt:

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (8-6): Another team on this list with a win over the Bills. They face two AFC contenders down the stretch.
  2. San Diego Chargers (8-6): Despite wins over the Ravens and Bills, they need some help to get in the dance now.
  3. Buffalo Bills (8-6): After a surprising win over the Green Bay Packers, they sit on the cusp of the AFC playoff race.

In the distance:

  1. Houston Texans (7-7): Ryan Mallet is hurt. Ryan Fitzpatrick is hurt. They are in the mix but it's a longshot.
  2. Miami Dolphins (7-7): They've got enough key wins to be in the conversation, but it doesn't look good for the Dolphins.
  3. Cleveland Browns (7-7): Anyone upset that Johnny Manziel fell flat on his face... or back?
We'll have a complete playoff scenario post later in the week but for now, the Bills are firmly on the outside looking in and will still need an awful lot of help to make the postseason.