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Who Buffalo Bills fans should root for, Week 6, 2021

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

The Buffalo Bills are once again in primetime this week, which means we have a lot of football watching to handle before the tilt against the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football. With that in mind, here are the teams you should be rooting for this weekend, Bills Mafia.

Note: The games are grouped in order of kickoff, not importance. After they are grouped by time, then they are ranked for importance.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers over Philadelphia Eagles
Thursday Night Football

The Bills play the Bucs later in the season, so this helps with Strength of Schedule tiebreaker and potentially Strength of Victory.

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5) over Miami Dolphins (1-4)
Sunday, 9:30 AM Eastern

The Dolphins are the three games back of the Bills in the AFC East race, but step one for Buffalo is securing the division. Buffalo plays Jacksonville later in the season, too, and any tiebreaker hits will only count once and not twice.

Baltimore Ravens (4-1) over Los Angeles Chargers (4-1)
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

The game of the week in the AFC pits the other two 4-1 teams in the conference against each other. So why root for the Ravens over the Chargers? Baltimore’s conference record is 3-1 and Los Angeles has an unblemished 3-0 conference record. Even if right now the Ravens seem to have the easier schedule down the stretch to potentially earn the 1 seed, the Chargers need some conference losses.

Detroit Lions over Cincinnati Bengals (3-2)
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

The Bills got a clutch win from Green Bay over Cincy last week in that field goal kicking contest. The Bengals are still undefeated in the AFC, so let’s keep piling up losses for them at this point. Plus it’s hard not to root for the Lions after what we’ve seen happen to them this year.

Washington Football Team over Kansas City Chiefs (2-3)
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

The more distance between the Bills and the Chiefs, the better. Especially when it’s an NFC team. It’s been a really long time since all four conference championship teams made the playoffs the next year.

Houston Texans (1-4) over Indianapolis Colts (1-4)
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

Meh. Neither one is really going to matter. Buffalo already beat Houston so they get the nudge here, but if and when the Bills beat the Colts, it’ll be a wash.

Carolina Panthers over Minnesota Vikings
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

The Bills play the Panthers later in the season, so this helps with Strength of Schedule tiebreaker and potentially Strength of Victory.

Green Bay Packers over Chicago Bears
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

I mean, if the Bills are going to lose some offensive assistants this offseason when Brian Daboll is hired as a head coach somewhere, the Bears have some folks on staff who worked with Sean McDermott in Philadelphia including head coach Matt Nagy. Promote Ken Dorsey to offensive coordinator, hire Nagy as quarterbacks coach. See where this is going?

Los Angeles Rams over New York Giants
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern

“New York teams”

Arizona Cardinals over Cleveland Browns (3-2)
Sunday, 4:05 PM Eastern

Can the Browns make some noise in the AFC Playoff Race? Absolutely. It’ll be harder at 3-3 and in a seemingly stacked division.

Dallas Cowboys over New England Patriots (2-3)
Sunday, 4:25 PM Eastern

It’s a rare feat, getting a Bills fan to root for the Cowboys. The Patriots will do that to people.

Denver Broncos (3-2) over Las Vegas Raiders (3-2)
Sunday, 4:25 PM Eastern

This isn’t about Jon Gruden’s emails. The Broncos are 2-2 in the AFC and the Raiders are 3-1. Let’s root to even out their conference records.

Seattle Seahawks over Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3)
Sunday Night Football

We are rooting to knock down the Steelers and their head-to-head tiebreaker over Buffalo. Later in the season, that might flip to us rooting for them to boost Strength of Schedule, but that’s down the list of priorities for now.

Buffalo Bills (4-1) over Tennessee Titans (3-2)
Monday Night Football

Man, I really want to win this game. For the 2020 Bills, who were jerked around before the game and beaten down during it. For the 1999 Bills, who were cheated out of a trip to the Super Bowl. For the 1992 Bills, who overcame and won the greatest comeback in NFL history. For the countless members of Bills Mafia who traveled to Nashville this weekend and the millions watching from home. To head into the bye week with a great feeling. Above all else, I want the Bills to keep pace with the top team in the Conference. Either the Ravens or the Chargers are going to leave their game on Sunday with a 5-1 record and Buffalo needs a win to stay even.

Bye weeks: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers.

Hypothetical AFC Playoff Standings

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

In the hypothetical results, Buffalo would still be behind the Ravens for the top spot in the AFC based on strength of victory. With a three-game lead in the division, they’d be sitting pretty there.