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Buffalo Bills rooting interests, playoff implications of Week 4 games

Who are we rooting for this week?

The Buffalo Bills are 3-0 and two games clear of the field in the race to the AFC playoffs. Where they currently sit and with the rest of the AFC muddied, it would be a big disappointment if they didn’t make the playoffs.

No matter what happens this week, the Bills will still be in playoff position come Monday morning, but they could really help their case for the playoffs with a win over the New England Patriots.

Here are your rooting interests for this week listed in order of importance:

Buffalo Bills over New England Patriots
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

The biggest game of the young season pits two of the three remaining undefeated AFC teams against one another at New Era Field. The winner will have an early stranglehold on the race for the AFC East crown in what looks to be a two-horse race. The Patriots have a tougher schedule than Buffalo coming down the stretch, but both of these teams should make the postseason regardless of this week’s outcome. Whichever team loses will still be in the lead for a Wild Card spot.

Carolina Panthers over Houston Texans
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

An AFC playoff contender playing an NFC team is an easy call for Bills fans. Houston is a miracle sequence of plays away from being 3-0 and currently are in the lead in the AFC South along with Indy. In a perfect world, the whole AFC South finishes at 8-8 or worse after beating up on each other but this is an easy call this week.

Atlanta Falcons over Tennessee Titans
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

It’s really easy to root against the Titans, and while Buffalo gets to play them in Week 5, it’s always better to knock down an AFC playoff contender with an NFC team. Tennessee falling to 1-3 would improve Buffalo’s chances at a wild card spot if they don’t win the AFC East.

Oakland Raiders over Indianapolis Colts
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

The 2-1 Colts are in playoff position right now, even without Andrew Luck. The 1-2 Raiders could even the two teams’ records this Sunday. It would be better than having a three-win team in the AFC South.

Detroit Lions over Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

The Buffalo Bills aren’t likely to come up against the Chiefs in any tiebreaker scenarios, as it’s expected KC will run away with their division title. Still, it’s an easy call to root for the NFC team over the AFC team here.

Miami Dolphins over Los Angeles Chargers
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

We aren’t rooting for a Miami win, we’re hoping for a Chargers loss. Los Angeles had been a strong wild card bet during the offseason but they’ve stumbled out of the gate. Let’s keep it that way.

Baltimore Ravens over Cleveland Browns
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

This is one of those games where we are picking the Ravens because they are the division leader. In a down year for the AFC North, a dissolving Browns and an ascending Ravens team could leave the fifth seed wide open. Conversely, you could make an argument for the Browns over the Ravens trying to keep both teams at .500. Right now, we’re discussing the path to the playoffs FIRST, so we are taking Baltimore to knock down a WC contender.

Denver Broncos over Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, 4:25 PM Eastern

The Jags are 1-2 while Denver is 0-3. We aren’t worried about either team making a run at this point, but keeping both of them at 1-3 would be helpful.

Cincinnati Bengals over Pittsburgh Steelers
Monday, 8:15 PM Eastern

Buffalo has a win over one currently winless team and not the other. This would help Buffalo in strength of victory and record vs common opponent tiebreakers down the line. That would be rendered moot if Buffalo won the game against Pittsburgh later.

New York Giants over Washington
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

The Bills have a win over the Giants and don’t yet have a victory over Washington, so this could help in strength of victory. When Buffalo beats Washington, that SOV advantage won’t matter anymore.

Philadelphia Eagles over Green Bay Packers
Thursday, 8:20 PM Eastern

Strength of schedule plus a potential strength of victory boost for the Bills comes into play down the list of tiebreakers.

Dallas Cowboys over New Orleans Saints
Sunday, 8:20 PM Eastern

Strength of schedule plus a potential strength of victory boost for the Bills comes into play down the list of tiebreakers.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Los Angeles Rams
Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears

These games don’t directly affect Buffalo, but will alter other Wild Card contenders’ strength of victory and strength of schedule tiebreakers as well as intra-divisional tiebreakers for record vs common opponents.