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Buffalo Bills rooting interests, Week 10

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 need some help to get back into the race in the AFC. Following their loss in Week 9, several Bills fans will just want to “worry about ourselves” but that’s a bit shortsighted. Buffalo needs help at this point after last week’s results, where the Bills got no help in their own game and little help elsewhere.

With eight teams in the conference entering the week with five wins, there are lots of outcomes that could help the Bills even if they take place outside of New Jersey. The Chargers, Raiders, Steelers, Patriots, Chiefs, Browns, Bengals, and Broncos join the Bills at five wins, but some of them have byes this week to give teams a chance to separate.

We’ve put the rooting interests below in order of importance, but before we do that, here are the playoff standings heading into Week 10. We’ve included the betting lines via DraftKings SportsBook to give you a sense of the balance of the game. Note: Rankings are listed in playoff order, so division leaders are listed 1-4 followed by the Wild card teams.

AFC East

  1. Buffalo Bills (5-3)
  2. New England Patriots (5-4)
  3. New York Jets (2-6)
  4. Miami Dolphins (2-7)

AFC Playoffs

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

Buffalo Bills (5-3) over New York Jets (2-6)
Sunday, November 14, 1:00 PM Eastern
Line: Bills by 11

The Bills need a get-right game after an embarrassing loss to the Jaguars. This should be it. If they can figure out who they are and power through adversity, last week could be a “good loss” for them going forward. Another struggle, and people inside and outside the locker room could lose faith.

Cleveland Browns (5-4) over New England Patriots (5-4)
Sunday, 1:00 PM Eastern
Line: Patriots by 2.5

Buffalo is just a half-game in front of the Patriots right now. They need New England to lose some games so they can put away the division and this is a great opportunity. Cleveland can prove it wasn’t the OBJ show.

New Orleans Saints over Tennessee Titans (7-2)
Sunday, November 14, 1:00 PM Eastern
Line: Titans by 2.5

The Titans don’t have very many losable games the rest of the way. At least not by normal standards. Buffalo can’t gain the tiebreaker edge over the Titans, so it’s imperative that the Titans keep losing despite an easier schedule than the average team.

Miami Dolphins (2-7) over Baltimore Ravens (6-2)
Thursday Night Football

By the time you read this, the game will be over. We tweeted it out though; we aren’t rooting for the Dolphins, we are rooting against the Ravens. And there’s a BIG difference. Handing the Ravens their third loss of the year allows Buffalo to pull even on Sunday.

Minnesota Vikings over Los Angeles Chargers (5-3)
Sunday, November 14, 4:05 PM Eastern
Line: Chargers by 3

A perfect opportunity for an NFC team to knock off an AFC rival, Buffalo hasn’t had any favors from the Vikings this year; Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Baltimore have all won their games against Minnesota. The Chargers hold an edge in every tiebreaker over Buffalo at this point, so a loss would be big.

Detroit Lions over Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3)
Sunday, November 14, 1:00 PM Eastern
Line: Steelers by 8

The Lions have come close to a few big wins for the Bills, and if they could knock down Pittsburgh, that would really help. They were inches away from defeating the Baltimore Ravens, and a win over the Steelers would be pretty helpful since Pittsburgh owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over Buffalo.

Philadelphia Eagles over Denver Broncos (5-4)
Sunday, November 14, 4:25 PM Eastern
Line: Broncos by 2.5

The Eagles are another NFC team that could help out the Bills in the AFC playoff race. We’ve said that before, and the Eagles have not delivered. This is the week!

Kansas City Chiefs (5-4) over Las Vegas Raiders (5-3)
Sunday Night Football
Line: Chiefs by 2.5

This is the game we want to end in a tie to keep both teams at five wins. Outside of that outcome, handing the Raiders their fourth loss to match KC’s four is the best option for Buffalo. We are in favor of keeping the AFC West tightly bunched for now, and they’ll continue to beat up on each other.

Indianapolis Colts (4-5) over Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6)
Sunday, November 14, 1:00 PM Eastern
Line: Colts by 10

First of all, screw the Jaguars. Second of all, the Bills need help in Strength of Victory and it can’t come from Jacksonville. Third, the Bills have a 1.5-game lead over the Colts and it would be much better for Buffalo if Indianapolis won the AFC South instead of the Titans. We can adjust later in the season if Indy gets hot, but this is the right call now. It’s down the list of importance, though.

Washington Football Team over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday, November 14, 1:00 PM Eastern
Line: Bucs by 9.5

Simply put, Buffalo has beaten the Washington team but not the Bucs yet. This helps the Bills in Strength of Victory.

Carolina Panthers over Arizona Cardinals
Sunday, November 14, 4:05 PM Eastern
Line: Cardinals by 10.5

Still hate the Cardinals, but also the Bills play the Panthers this year so it helps various tiebreakers.

Atlanta Falcons over Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, November 14, 1:00 PM Eastern
Line: Cowboys by 8

Same concept as Carolina, but we hate the Cowboys a little bit less right now. Buffalo plays Atlanta later, and this will boost the Bills’ Strength of Schedule.

Seattle Seahawks over Green Bay Packers
Sunday, November 14, 4:25 PM Eastern
Line: Packers by 3

The Bills’ Strength of Victory tiebreaker is a problem right now, since a lot of AFC teams have similar Conference win-loss records. The Seahawks face the AFC South this year, where Buffalo already has a tiebreaker loss to the division-leading Titans and will have enough games to qualify for record vs common opponents, which comes before Strength of Victory. The Packers play the AFC North, where the Bills won’t get a direct tiebreaker with the Baltimore Ravens or Cincinnati Bengals. So it’s way, way down the list, but a Seattle win helps Buffalo against the AFC North.

San Francisco 49ers over Los Angeles Rams
Monday Night Football
Line: Rams by 3.5

Another game that’s mostly meaningless to Buffalo, we chose the Rams to lose since they play the Baltimore Ravens, who lead their division. The 49ers play the Cincinnati Bengals.

Teams on a bye: Cincinnati Bengals (5-4), Houston Texans (1-8), Chicago Bears, New York Giants

If everything goes Buffalo’s way, the Bills will move from fourth to second in the AFC thanks to a superior Conference Record to the Baltimore Ravens. They would be a half-game plus a tiebreaker back of the Tennessee Titans for the top spot in the AFC. And with how crazy the teams have been in the conference, that’s great position.

In the division, they would be 1.5 games clear of the Patriots.

Projected AFC East Standings

  1. Buffalo Bills (6-3)
  2. New England Patriots (5-5)
  3. Miami Dolphins (3-7)
  4. New York Jets (2-7)

Projected AFC Playoffs Standings

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

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.