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Buffalo Bills rooting interests, Week 7: No big moves, but big AFC games

The 4-2 Buffalo Bills still sit in control of the AFC East despite two straight losses to the top teams in the conference. If they want to get a better matchup than the second-place team in the AFC North, they are going to need to string together some wins and get some help. Yeah, it’s only Week 7, but no time like the present for some of that help.

Before we look at this weekend’s games, here are the current AFC standings and playoff picture:

Here is where the AFC shakes out after six weeks:

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

Here is the current playoff picture:

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

The Bills will still need to take care of their own business, of course, but here are the rooting interests in the other weekend matchups in order of importance:

Buffalo Bills (4-2) over New York Jets (0-6)
1:00 PM EDT

This goes without saying. The Bills need to handle their own games, especially against teams with historically bad point differentials and offenses.

San Francisco 49ers over New England Patriots (2-3)
4:25 PM EDT

An NFC team handing the Patriots a loss would be so very helpful. New England could be in full free fall by the time they come to Buffalo on November 1st.

Denver Broncos (2-3) over Kansas City Chiefs (5-1)
Sunday, 4:25 PM EDT

Buffalo is effectively a game and a half back of the Chiefs in the standings following their loss to KC on Monday. This isn’t likely to be about Buffalo making the playoffs, but rather the seeding of division winners.

Pittsburgh Steelers (5-0) over Tennessee Titans (5-0)
1:00 PM EDT

The Bills get to play the Steelers later in the year while they’ve already lost to the Titans. With Tennessee already 2.5 games ahead of Buffalo, this would be a positive step for the Bills to pass Tennessee in seeding.

Cincinnati Bengals (1-4-1) over Cleveland Browns (4-2)
1:00 PM EDT

Evening out the field in the AFC North could help if Buffalo falls into the Wild Card race.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers over Las Vegas Raiders (3-2)
4:05 PM EDT

The Raiders have been a sneaky-good team this year, and Buffalo has a win in hand over the Raiders, but we want them to fall out of the Wild Card race.

Green Bay Packers over Houston Texans (1-5)
1:00 PM EDT

An NFC team over an AFC team is almost always helpful.

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) over Los Angeles Chargers (1-4)
4:25 PM EDT

Anything that would make it easier for the Chargers to trade CB Desmond King to the Bills is a good thing.

Los Angeles Rams over Chicago Bears
Monday 8:15 PM EDT

The Bills have a win over the Rams, so this would help both Buffalo’s strength of victory and strength of schedule tiebreakers if it comes to that.

Games that don’t directly affect Buffalo:

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints
Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals

Bye week:

Miami Dolphins (3-3)
Baltimore Ravens (5-1)
Indianapolis Colts (4-2)
Minnesota Vikings


If everything goes Buffalo’s way this weekend, they won’t control anything more than they do now in the race and won’t move up in the standings. At the same time, their chances of winning the division would go up considerably and they haven’t done that since Jim Kelly was the QB of the team 25 years ago.

Here is what that would look like:

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

Here is what the playoff picture would look like:

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

Chiefs bye
Titans vs Browns
Chiefs vs Colts
Bills vs Ravens