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AFC Playoff Race: Buffalo Bills rooting interests, Week 9

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The Bills are in the lead for an AFC Wild Card spot but could always use help this weekend.

The Buffalo Bills are in the driver’s seat for a spot in the AFC Playoffs this year, and with a game against a struggling Washington team that’s already fired their head coach, they could put more distance between themselves and the rest of the pack in the AFC this week.

Here are the match-ups Bills fans should be rooting for this week plus a current look at the AFC standings.

Full AFC Standings

1. New England Patriots (8-0)
2. Buffalo Bills (5-2, 4-1 AFC)
3. Indianapolis Colts (5-2, 4-2 AFC)
4. Baltimore Ravens (5-2, 3-2 AFC)
5. Houston Texans (5-3, head-to-head win over KC)
6. Kansas City Chiefs (5-3, head-to-head loss to HOU)
7. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4, head-to-head win over TEN)
8. Tennessee Titans (4-4, head-to-head loss to JAX)
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-4, 3-2 AFC)
10. Oakland Raiders (3-4, 2-2 AFC)
11. Los Angeles Chargers (3-5)
12. Cleveland Browns (2-5)
12. Denver Broncos (2-6)
14. New York Jets (1-6)
15. Miami Dolphins (0-7)
16. Cincinnati Bengals (0-8)

Full AFC Playoff Standings

1. New England Patriots (8-0)
2. Indianapolis Colts (5-2, 4-2 AFC)
3. Baltimore Ravens (5-2, 3-2 AFC)
4. Kansas City Chiefs (5-3)
5. Buffalo Bills (5-2)
6. Houston Texans (5-3)
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7. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4, head-to-head win over TEN)
8. Tennessee Titans (4-4, head-to-head loss to JAX)
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-4, 3-2 AFC)
10. Oakland Raiders (3-4, 2-2 AFC)


Buffalo Bills (5-2) over Washington
Sunday, November 3rd, 1:00 PM Eastern

Buffalo hasn’t been to six wins in their first nine games in a really, really, really long time. They are 10-point favorites with a bad taste in their mouth and a daunting schedule coming down the stretch. It’s put up or shut up time. A win here guarantees they stay in fifth place for at least another two weeks while Houston is on their bye next week.

Baltimore Ravens (5-2) over New England Patriots (8-0)
Sunday, November 3rd, 8:20 PM Eastern

A huge AFC match-up on Sunday Night Football means a lot for the playoffs. If Buffalo has any shot of winning the division, this is an important first loss for the Patriots. Plus the Ravens are running away with the AFC North so they won’t be a competition for the Wild Card.

Houston Texans (5-3) over Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4)
Sunday, November 3rd, 9:30 AM Eastern

The three most important games for Buffalo this week will all be on at different times and you can watch all of them! I’m at least open to both sides of this argument. For Houston: You can put a lot of distance between the top six teams in the AFC and the seventh place team with a Texans win. For Jacksonville: You can put distance between Buffalo in fifth and the sixth place team in the conference. In the end, goal one is to make the playoffs before you worry about seeding, so that’s why we went Houston.

Pittsburgh Steelers (3-4) over Indianapolis Colts (5-2)
Sunday, November 3rd, 1:00 PM Eastern

We’re not worried about the Steelers clawing their way back into the playoff race. The Bills get to play them later in the year to solidify themselves. With Indy in a big AFC South fight, we want all those teams at 8-8 when the smoke clears. This is an easy call.

Carolina Panthers over Tennessee Titans (4-4)
Sunday, November 3rd, 1:00 PM Eastern

The next team on the playoff ladder are the Titans. Even though Buffalo has a win in hand over them, it’s an easy decision for an NFC team to knock off this AFC Wild Card contender.

Minnesota Vikings over Kansas City Chiefs (5-3)
Sunday, November 3rd, 1:00 PM Eastern

While the Chiefs are two games up in the AFC West, they are also without Patrick Mahomes. Who knows if they fall further and get caught by the Chargers who always seem to be in the hunt or the surprising Raiders. Either way, it’s an NFC opponent so it’s an easy call.

Detroit Lions over Oakland Raiders (3-4)
Sunday, November 3rd, 4:05 PM Eastern

Giving a crippling fifth loss to the Raiders would be awesome for Buffalo’s playoff chances. If they get back to .500, they will still be a pesky fly with games upcoming against the Jets, Bengals, and their struggling AFC West foes.

Green Bay Packers over Los Angeles Chargers (3-5)
Sunday, November 3rd, 4:25 PM Eastern

A sixth loss this early in the season would be very difficult to overcome for the Chargers to make a playoff run and with it coming against an NFC team, it’s a slam dunk for Buffalo.

Denver Broncos (2-6) over Cleveland Browns (2-5)
Sunday, November 3rd, 4:25 PM Eastern

Buffalo gets to play both teams later in the season, so it’s all about the records here. If Buffalo takes care of business and beats them both later in the season, Week 9’s game won’t matter.

Philadelphia Eagles over Chicago Bears
Sunday, November 3rd, 1:00 PM Eastern

The Eagles were on Buffalo’s slate of games, so this helps Buffalo’s strength of schedule tiebreaker.

New York Giants over Dallas Cowboys
Monday, November 4th, 8:15 PM Eastern

With a win in hand over the Giants and one not assured on Thanksgiving, this will boost Buffalo’s strength of victory metric. If they win on Turkey Day, it will be moot.

San Francisco 49ers vs Arizona Cardinals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Seattle Seahawks
New York Jets vs Miami Dolphins

These NFC-NFC contests don’t directly affect the Bills, while the Jets and Dolphins are so far out of the picture, they are a non-factor.

Bye week: Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints


In this best-case scenario, Buffalo would not be in a position to overtake New England in the AFC East but they’d be a heckuva lot closer and back in control over their own destiny. They would also have a lead of one game over the sixth-place team (Indy) and a lead of two games over seventh place Pittsburgh with an upcoming game against the Steelers in December.

Full HYPOTHETICAL AFC Standings

1. New England Patriots (8-1)
2. Buffalo Bills (6-2, 4-1 AFC)
3. Baltimore Ravens (6-2, 4-2 AFC)
4. Houston Texans (6-3)
5. Indianapolis Colts (5-3)
6. Kansas City Chiefs (5-4)
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4)
8. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5, head-to-head win over TEN)
9. Tennessee Titans (4-5, head-to-head loss to JAX)
10. Oakland Raiders (3-5)
11. Denver Broncos (3-6, head-to-head win over DEN)
12. Los Angeles Chargers (3-6, head-to-head loss to LAC)
13. Cleveland Browns (2-6)
With the New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, and Miami Dolphins

Full HYPOTHETICAL AFC Playoff Standings

1. New England Patriots (8-1)
2. Baltimore Ravens (6-2)
3. Houston Texans (6-3)
4. Kansas City Chiefs (5-4)
5. Buffalo Bills (6-2)
6. Indianapolis Colts (5-3)
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7. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4)
8. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5, head-to-head win over TEN)
9. Tennessee Titans (4-5, head-to-head loss to JAX)
10. Oakland Raiders (3-5)