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AFC playoff picture: Buffalo Bills on life support

This is the annual “Bills aren’t mathematically eliminated” post.

The Buffalo Bills have lost two consecutive games against quality AFC opponents to go from a decent chance of making the playoffs to a minuscule, remote possibility. Before we sent the playoff drought on to the junior prom, let’s take a look at the playoff picture and how the Bills could still pull it off.

AFC Standings

1. New England Patriots (10-2^)
2. Kansas City Chiefs (10-3, head-to-head sweep of OAK)
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5)
4. Houston Texans (7-6, head-to-head win over TEN)
5. Oakland Raiders (10-3, head-to-head losses to KC)
6/7. Miami Dolphins/Denver Broncos (8-5)
8. Baltimore Ravens (7-5^)
9. Tennessee Titans (7-6)
10. Indianapolis Colts (6-7, 4-6 AFC record)
11. Buffalo Bills (6-7, 3-6 AFC record)
12. San Diego Chargers (5-8)
13. Cincinnati Bengals (5-7-1)
14. New York Jets (3-9*)
15. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10*)
16. Cleveland Browns (0-12*)

* Eliminated from the playoff race.
^ New England and Baltimore play on Monday Night Football

(Here are the tiebreaker procedures if you’d like:

What it means

With the Denver Broncos facing an uphill climb against quality opponents over the last three weeks and the Miami Dolphins without a quarterback, the door was wide open for a Bills run to the postseason if they could just come up with a win. That didn’t happen.

Currently 11th in the conference, Buffalo can still make the playoffs but will need the Broncos and Dolphins to lose two of their remaining games and they need to be the correct games for the Bills to sneak in on a tiebreaker. Both could realistically lose out, as well. They would also need some help against the Ravens, who need to lose three of their remaining four games, starting tonight on Monday Night Football. Tennessee would have to lose at least one, as well.

It’s not over, but the most ludicrous thing the Bills need to happen to make the postseason is three consecutive wins. With their backs against the wall the last two weeks, they’ve been rocked by consecutive opponents.