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AFC Playoff Picture: Buffalo Bills’ clinching scenarios for Week 15

The Bills should clinch the division this weekend.

The Buffalo Bills should clinch a playoff spot in Week 15. They should also clinch their first AFC East crown in 25 years this weekend. Let’s examine the scenarios.

Currently, the Bills are 10-3 while the Miami Dolphins are 8-5. The Bills have clinched the tiebreakers over the Dolphins, so Miami has to win out and Buffalo has to lose out for the Dolphins to win the division.

At the bottom of the AFC playoff picture, the Baltimore Ravens are tied with the Miami Dolphins at 8-5 for the seventh and final playoff spot with the Las Vegas Raiders at 7-6. Because the Bills have beaten the Raiders head-to-head AND Vegas plays Miami later in the year, one or both of them will be automatically eliminated from the conversation as it concerns Buffalo. In addition to securing tiebreakers over the Raiders and Dolphins, the Bills hold the tiebreakers against Baltimore thanks to a better record in games against common opponents. So in order to clinch being ahead of Baltimore, Las Vegas, and Miami, the Bills need to get to 11 wins or have two of those teams at six losses.

Playoff Berth

The Bills can clinch a playoff spot with a win on Saturday against the Denver Broncos. They can also clinch a playoff spot if either the Baltimore Ravens or Miami Dolphins lose their game. (Baltimore is playing the Jacksonville Jaguars while the Dolphins are playing the New England Patriots.) In the unlikely event of a Bills tie, a Ravens or Dolphins tie would also do the trick.

  • Bills win

OR

  • Dolphins loss

OR

  • Ravens loss

OR

  • Bills tie + Dolphins tie

OR

  • Bills tie + Ravens tie

AFC East

The Bills will clinch the division with either a win on Saturday or a Dolphins loss on Sunday. They would also clinch with a Bills tie plus a Dolphins tie.

  • Bills win

OR

  • Dolphins loss

OR

  • Bills tie + Dolphins tie

There is obviously a lot more at stake this Sunday beyond a playoff spot, as the Bills will be jostling with the rest of the AFC for playoff seeding, but to be in the dance you’ve got to get to the dance. This is how the Bills can secure one of those spots for the third time in four years.