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AFC Playoff Picture: Buffalo Bills can’t earn home-field advantage throughout playoffs

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The Bills can’t be the one seed in the AFC anymore.

The Baltimore Ravens beat the New York Jets on Thursday night, securing their 12th win of the year. In doing so, they eliminated the Buffalo Bills from the conversation for the top seed in the AFC.

Obviously, Buffalo still needs to first secure a playoff berth then the AFC division crown before they can start thinking about the first-round bye and home-field advantage. They can earn the berth this weekend with a win but they’ll need more help for the rest.

At best, Buffalo can match Baltimore at 12-4 but the Ravens’ head-to-head win is the first tiebreaker in the seeding. Even in a three-way tie with the Kansas City Chiefs at 12-4 (which would remove the head-to-head tiebreaker), Buffalo wouldn’t finish ahead of the Chiefs thanks to Kansas City’s superior conference record. The Ravens would take the 2 seed and Buffalo would host a Wild Card game.

For the Bills to get a first-round bye, they’ll need to win one more game than the Chiefs down the stretch while also passing the New England Patriots. Kansas City plays the Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, and Los Angeles Chargers over the final three weeks. New England plays the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins in addition to their Week 16 game against Buffalo.