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AFC Playoff Picture: Buffalo Bills hang onto final playoff spot despite loss

The Bills need to win some games down the stretch

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 have somehow hung onto the playoff spot after their loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A huge comeback came up short, but the Bills stay seventh in the AFC Playoff Picture.

Cleveland's win over Cincinnati is the saving grace right now. The Bengals have a better AFC record than Buffalo but they lost to the Browns. The division tiebreaker applies first, putting the Browns second in the AFC North, and Buffalo beats Cleveland.

The Minnesota Vikings helped out the Bills on Thursday night, defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then the Kansas City Chiefs knocked off the Las Vegas Raiders. The San Francisco 49ers finished the assist Buffalo needed, beating the Bengals in overtime.

It wasn't all good news for Buffalo. The Cleveland Browns won, beating the Baltimore Ravens, as did the Los Angeles Chargers. They are all tied with the Bills. The Denver Broncos moved to 7-6, as well, with a win over the Lions.

Note: Division leaders are listed in the 1-4 slots.

AFC Standings

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

++ Eliminated from the postseason