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Buffalo Bills do not control their own destiny in AFC playoff race

Buffalo still needs some help.

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

The Buffalo Bills took care of business on Sunday, beating the Miami Dolphins to improve to 8-6 with two games left to play. Buffalo is now tied with the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans for fifth AND sixth in the AFC, but the Bills are on the outside looking in.

The Buffalo Bills need some help.

If Buffalo wins out, defeating the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins in the process, they would finish 10-6 and have a 96% chance at a postseason appearance for the first time since Y2K was a thing. With that being said, they could still miss the playoffs. Here’s how:

  • Buffalo beats New England and Miami to go to 10-6
  • Baltimore beats Indianapolis and Cincinnati to go to 10-6
  • Tennessee beats L.A. Rams and Jacksonville to go 10-6
  • Jacksonville loses to San Francisco and Tennessee to finish 10-6

With these results, Tennessee wins the AFC South knocking Jacksonville into the Wild Card race. The Jaguars AFC record would be 9-3, putting them at the top of the heap in the fifth Wild Card spot. The Ravens and Bills would be 8-4 in the AFC, but Baltimore would own a 5-0 record in common games with Buffalo while the Bills were 4-1 in those games.

All the teams at 10-6 produces this result:

  • AFC South champ: Tennessee Titans
  • Wild Card 1: Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Wild Card 2: Baltimore Ravens
  • Utter despair: Buffalo Bills

So we will actually be rooting for the Jaguars this Sunday against the 49ers. The Bills beat Tennessee in tiebreakers at both 9-7 and 10-6 so we want them in the fray instead of the division champ slot.