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Setting up the Buffalo Bills for a win-and-in Week 17

There is a way the Bills could control their own destiny next week.

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

Right now, the Buffalo Bills do not control their own destiny heading into Week 17. Even if they win out and go 10-6, they aren’t guaranteed to break their 17-year playoff drought, though the odds would be pretty darn good. So let’s set up the scenario. What would it take for a win in Week 17 to control the Bills’ own destiny?

Bills beat New England

If Buffalo beats the New England Patriots, the possibilities open up. Then they would have to worry about one of their competitors losing a game or the Jacksonville Jaguars winning the AFC South.

  • Bills beat Patriots + Jaguars beat 49ers

- or -

  • Bills beat Patriots + Ravens lose to Colts

- or -

  • Bills beat Patriots + Titans lose to Rams

Bills lose to New England

Buffalo can still control their own destiny in Week 17 even if they lose to the Patriots, but the chain of results needed becomes longer. They would need two other teams to lose.

  • Bills lose to Patriots + Ravens lose to Colts + Chargers lose to Jets

If any of these scenarios happens, it would be really cool for the NFL to bump the Bills vs. Dolphins to the Sunday night game on New Year’s Eve in Week 17. Buffalo vs. destiny for the entire country to see. Can the Bills end the longest playoff drought in North American sports?