The Buffalo Bills beat the Cleveland Browns but had almost every other outcome go against them Sunday. Last-minute wins by the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans as well as a close win by the Houston Texans made Buffalo’s uphill climb even more difficult. Here is how the AFC currently shakes out.
1. New England Patriots (12-2^)
2. Oakland Raiders (11-3^)
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5)
4. Houston Texans (8-6, head-to-head win over TEN)
5. Kansas City Chiefs (10-4)
6. Miami Dolphins (9-5)
7. Baltimore Ravens (8-6, 7-3 AFC)7
8. Tennessee Titans (8-6, 5-5 AFC, head-to-head win over DEN)
9. Denver Broncos (8-6, 5-5 AFC, head-to-head loss to TEN)
10. Indianapolis Colts (7-7, 4-6 AFC, 1-1 in common games vs BUF)
11. Buffalo Bills (7-7, 4-6 AFC record, 1-2 in common games vs IND)
12. Cincinnati Bengals (5-8-1*)
13. San Diego Chargers (5-9*)
14. New York Jets (4-10*)
15. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12*)
16. Cleveland Browns (0-14*)
^ Clinched a playoff spot
* Eliminated from the playoff race.
(Here are the tiebreaker procedures if you’d like: http://www.nfl.com/standings/tiebreakingprocedures)
What it means
Buffalo should be able to pass the Colts this week with a win, as Indianapolis plays the Raiders who are fighting for a division crown and homefield advantage. A loss by the Broncos to the Chiefs would move Buffalo past them, as well, and up into ninth place. A fluky win by the Jaguars, who fired their coach Gus Bradley yesterday, could put the Bills in a tie with the Titans and even the teams in record vs common opponent. Without doing the math, I’m pretty sure Tennessee has a better strength of victory after wins over KC, Green Bay and Detroit. Buffalo won’t be able to pass Baltimore this week.
We’ll have a full elimination scenario post and rooting interests for you later this week, so stay tuned.