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After Los Angeles Chargers Thanksgiving win, AFC playoff picture muddies for Buffalo Bills

The Chargers are back in this.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Chargers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills lost to the Los Angeles Chargers a week ago and Anthony Lynn’s squad clawed their way back to 4-6. They just beat the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day for their second win in five days and now sit at 5-6, a stone’s throw from AFC Wild Card position.

A Buffalo loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday would put a cramp into the Bills’ playoff chances beyond just losing four straight with the New England Patriots coming to town. A 5-6 Bills team would lose a head-to-head tiebreaker with Los Angeles if it came down to it.

Luckily, there will probably be multiple teams involved in a tiebreaker scenario. If there are three or four teams involved in a Wild Card tiebreaker scenario, the head-to-head loss won’t mean as much as a sweep of all the other tied teams is the only thing that would come before conference record.

Buffalo is still 3-3 in the AFC while Los Angeles is a dismal 3-5; even a loss to the Chiefs would keep the Bills ahead of the Chargers in this tiebreaker. The Baltimore Ravens are 4-3 in the conference and 5-5 overall, representing a huge threat to the Bills once again. The Miami Dolphins are also 3-3 in the AFC but 4-6 overall and Buffalo can end their playoff hopes by simply taking care of business. No other wild card contenders are currently at or above .500 in conference record.

Sure, Buffalo can control their own destiny by winning some games, but the way they’ve been playing they are going to need some help to get over the hump and into the playoffs for the first time since the 1999 season. It’s nice to know the scenarios.