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Who to Root For: Buffalo Bills fans watching a lot of Week 5 action

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

With the Buffalo Bills playing on Sunday night and games Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon, we’re going to have to watch a lot of football before kickoff. Luckily, we can manufacture some rooting interests in all of these games, huh?

It should be noted, the Bills do not control their own destiny to the one or even the two seed. With an AFC loss, the Bills don’t control the tiebreakers with the other one-loss teams. Now obviously, having multiple one-loss teams seems highly unlikely, but we’re analytical here. The Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Chargers haven’t lost to an AFC team yet.

Here are the rooting interests for the NFL’s slate of games. Instead of putting it in order of important for the Bills, we’ll just list them by start time.

Green Bay over Cincinnati Bengals (3-1)
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

One of the few games that actually matters in the standings, Buffalo needs the Bengals to lose in order to pass them.

Atlanta Falcons over New York Jets (1-3)
Sunday, 9:30 AM Eastern

It’s really fun to see the Jets be terrible, isn’t it? If you’re really into tiebreakers, you probably want the Jets to win because they aren’t a threat to Buffalo in the AFC East race and it would up Buffalo’s strength of schedule and strength of victory, but that’s premature at this point. Let’s just root for them to continue their death spiral. (We gladly rooted for them to beat the Titans last week, though.)

Washington Football Team over New Orleans Saints
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

Buffalo has beaten Washington but not New Orleans at this point. This will help with Strength of Victory tiebreaker.

Detroit Lions over Minnesota Vikings
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

This won’t help Buffalo in the playoff race, but we don’t like how they treated Stefon Diggs so we hope Minnesota loses. OK!?

Houston Texans (1-3) over New England Patriots (1-3)
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

We hope the Patriots continue to be buried for a multitude of reasons. Playoffs, ego, just for the fun of it.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers over Miami Dolphins (1-3)
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

We hope the Dolphins continue to be buried for a multitude of reasons. Playoffs, ego, just for the fun of it.

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3) over Denver Broncos (3-1)
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

Not only will this make Bills fans feel better about losing to Pittsburgh, it will make sure Denver can’t move ahead of Buffalo.

Carolina Panthers over Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

First of all, you should get used to rooting for the future Bills right now. But seriously, the Bills play the Panthers later in the year so it boosts the Strength of Victory tiebreaker.

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4) over Tennessee Titans (2-2)
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

It will be great to continue to watch the Titans suffer, especially at the hands of a controversy plagued team. Send the Titans into their Monday Night Football showdown with the Bills coming off two straight losses to winless teams.

Cleveland Browns (3-1) over Los Angeles Chargers (3-1)
Sunday, 4:05 PM Eastern

The Chargers need an AFC loss at some point for Buffalo to move past them. It might as well be this week. Two of Cleveland’s wins have been against the NFC, so Buffalo would still be out in front with a win.

Chicago Bears over Las Vegas Raiders (3-1)
Sunday, 4:05 PM Eastern

An NFC team handing this plucky Raiders team a loss helps Buffalo.

San Francisco 49ers over Arizona Cardinals
Sunday, 4:25 PM Eastern

We’re still not over the Hail Mary loss, and an Arizona loss coupled with a Buffalo win gives the Bills the best record in football.

New York Giants over Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, 4:25 PM Eastern

This one’s not really important, but North America’s Team > America’s Team so it’s an easy pick.

Buffalo Bills (3-1) over Kansas City Chiefs (2-2)
Sunday, 8:20 PM Eastern


Indianapolis Colts (1-3) over Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
Monday, 8:15 PM Eastern

In the race to the top seeds in the AFC, Baltimore losing to the Colts would be pretty helpful for Buffalo.