clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

AFC Playoff Picture: Buffalo Bills control their own destiny from second place

New, comments

Buffalo is in second place and now control their own destiny once again.

At the halfway point of their season, the Buffalo Bills have their best record since 1993. That team went on to win the AFC Championship game and play in the Super Bowl so it is a great position to be in, but there has been a lot of jostling behind Buffalo over the past several weeks. Teams that initially fell out of playoff position have clawed their way back into striking distance. Let’s recap.

The big news outside of Buffalo this weekend was the Baltimore Ravens’ thorough beatdown of the New England Patriots. With that loss, the door is now open for the Bills to win the AFC East. Buffalo controls their own destiny once again.

In the Wild Card race, the Bills have a comfortable lead over the seventh-place squads and with quarterback uncertainty throughout the AFC, that’s a great place to be.

All-in-all, almost every result went Buffalo’s way in Week 9 except for two AFC West teams topping NFC North opponents. Setting back Oakland and Los Angeles in the Wild Card race without boosting an AFC opponent would have been nice.

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

Full AFC Playoff Standings

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

The Bills are 1.5 games behind the Patriots but with New England on a bye this week, Buffalo makes that just a one-game lead with a win over the Browns. Then the Bills just need to beat the Patriots later in the year and win the same number of games outside of that to win the AFC East for the first time since 1995.

In the Wild Card race, Buffalo is a game up on the Colts for the five seed and two games ahead of Pittsburgh and Oakland for the sixth playoff spot. The Bills will get to play the Steelers later in the year to solidify their position over Pittsburgh.

While no team has been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, the New York Jets have been eliminated from the AFC East race.