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Buffalo Bills rooting interests, Week 11: playoff implications around the schedule

Nathan Peterman is just one step in the rooting process this week.

Green Bay Packers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills are in the late game on Sunday, so there will be a lot to root for before they even take the field. It starts Thursday night.

Here are your rooting interests, Bills fans, and it starts with the Steelers over the Titans on Thursday night, opening the door for a run at the number five seed on Sunday.

Buffalo Bills (5-4) over Los Angeles Chargers (3-6)
Sunday, November 19, 4:05 p.m. ET

It seems like a must-win game for the Bills’ playoff hopes with games against the Chiefs and Patriots looming. They’re also starting Nathan Peterman for the first time. Buffalo drops to a 25% chance of making the playoff with a loss, according to the New York Times playoff machine but get back to a 55% chance with a win. Right now, they are at 39% which is sixth-best in the AFC with six spots up for grabs.

Green Bay Packers over Baltimore Ravens (4-5)
Sunday, November 19, 1:00 p.m. ET

Big game for Buffalo as Baltimore is a game behind the Bills and they are playing an NFC team so you don’t have to worry about the corresponding win. It’s in Green Bay and Brett Hundley just picked up his first win last weekend as Packers QB.

Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2) over Tennessee Titans (6-3)
Thursday, November 16, 8:30 p.m. ET

We can concede the division to Pittsburgh now as they are three games up on the field in the AFC North. The AFC South is a different animal and with both Jacksonville and Tennessee at 6-3, Buffalo could pass one of them for fifth in the AFC if the breaks go the right way this week.

Cleveland Browns (0-9) over Jacksonville Jaguars (6-3)
Sunday, November 19, 1:00 p.m. ET

Same story as Pittsburgh vs. Tennessee but on the opposite end of the AFC North. Buffalo can move into fifth place if either Tennessee or Jacksonville loses and the Bills win in L.A.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers over Miami Dolphins (4-5)
Sunday, November 19, 1:00 p.m. ET

This one is actually less important for Buffalo despite the divisional process involved in the tiebreakers for a Wild Card spot because the Bills will get their own chance to knock off Miami twice. If Buffalo takes care of their business against Miami, it won’t matter what the Dolphins do the rest of the way since they will have seven losses.

New England Patriots (7-2) over Oakland Raiders (4-5)
Sunday, November 19, 4:25 p.m. ET

This one is tricky because there is the division crown and the wild card at play. The better chance to make the playoffs comes with a Raiders loss, as they are a game behind Buffalo. But who wants to root for the Patriots? While the computer says New England, I’ll probably be hoping for a Patriots loss anyway.

Denver Broncos (3-6) over Cincinnati Bengals (3-6)
Sunday, November 19, 4:25 p.m. ET

Clear cut; Bills beat Denver but didn’t beat Cincy so if it came down to head-to-head it’s not a good look for Buffalo if the Bengals win.

Arizona Cardinals over Houston Texans (3-6)
Sunday, November 19, 1:00 p.m. ET

Houston dropping to seven losses would be a death blow and having it come at the hands of the NFC wouldn’t hurt Buffalo.

New York Giants over Kansas City Chiefs (6-3)
Sunday, November 19, 1:00 p.m. ET

With a two-game lead in their division, the simulator seems content to give the Chiefs their division and makes it pretty meaningless for Buffalo. Still it’s clear we want the Chefs to lose to an NFC team.

New Orleans Saints over Washington Redskins
Atlanta Falcons over Seattle Seahawks

Strength of schedule and strength of victory are down-the-line tiebreakers so these are clearly who we want to win but they ultimately probably won’t matter.

Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions
Los Angeles Rams vs. Minnesota Vikings
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys

None of these games will factor into Buffalo’s year-end tiebreakers.

Teams on a bye: Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers

Buffalo can move up into 5th place and secure a very commanding lead in the Wild Card race if they win and a couple things go their way. This will bump them up to a 60% chance of making the playoffs. Let’s hope that comes to fruition.