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AFC playoff picture: Buffalo Bills can’t take fifth seed

With the Chiefs win on Thursday night, the Bills lost one avenue to the playoffs.

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

While it wasn’t a likely scenario, the Buffalo Bills playoff chances took a mild hit on Thursday night when the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Oakland Raiders. Both teams are now 10-3 and guaranteed to finish ahead of the Bills in the final standings.

If Buffalo wins out, they will finish 10-6 while the Raiders and Chiefs could both lose out to 10-6. If that were the case, Kansas City would be ahead of Oakland based on a head-to-head sweep and Oakland would be ahead of Buffalo based on their win in Week 13. That eliminated the possibility of Buffalo securing the number five spot in the playoffs.

Now that it all comes down to the sixth and final playoff spot in the end (outside of a ludicrous run to the AFC East crown) , the Bills are going to become big Chiefs and Raiders fans, as we need Denver to lose at least two more games.

Here is the complete list of teams to root for this Sunday, Bills fans. Just remember, no matter what happens, the Bills can’t be completely eliminated from the playoff picture this weekend.

AFC Standings

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

* Eliminated from the playoff race.

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