The Buffalo Bills have 11 games remaining in their 2021 regular season. When looking ahead, they only play two teams who are currently over .500 in the standings. (Note: That could dip to one if the New Orleans Saints lose on Monday night.)
The only team on Buffalo’s schedule with a lopsided winning record is the 5-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The only big-ish test before they face the Bills is next Sunday when they face the division-rival New Orleans Saints. That marquee matchup is a late afternoon nationally televised game.
Buffalo’s next three opponents have a combined three wins; the Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, and New York Jets. The Bills need to take care of business against conference bottom-dwellers to get to 7-2 before they face the Saints (currently 3-2) on Thanksgiving night in New Orleans.
Looking at the four teams ahead of Buffalo in terms of record, they all have a much tougher road to Thanksgiving.
- The Cincinnati Bengals (5-2) play the Jets this week but then the Cleveland Browns (4-3), and Las Vegas Raiders (5-2). After Thanksgiving, they play the Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, and Pittsburgh Steelers.
- The Baltimore Ravens (5-2) play the Minnesota Vikings (3-3), then a Thursday night turnaround against the Dolphins, before heading to Chicago to play the Bears (3-4). Their post-Thanksgiving run of games are particularly difficult with the Browns twice, Steelers twice, Bengals, Green Bay Packers, and Los Angeles Rams.
- The Las Vegas Raiders (5-2) face the New York Giants, but also the Chiefs and Bengals then the 5-1 Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving afternoon. They have the Chiefs, Browns, and Chargers left in December and January.
- The Tennessee Titans (5-2) head to L.A. to take on the Rams (6-1) and host the Saints (3-2) in addition to games against the Indianapolis Colts (3-4) and Houston Texans (1-6). They have a relatively easy go of it down the stretch with games against the Dolphins, Texans, San Francisco 49ers, and Jaguars over the last five weeks of the season.
The Los Angeles Chargers also have a rough go at it, playing the Bengals, Chiefs, and Raiders over the final six games of their season.
All that is to say that if Buffalo beats the teams on their schedule they are supposed to beat, they will be in the mix for the top two seeds in the AFC. The Titans and their head-to-head tiebreaker and terrible division schedule make them the team to watch right now.