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AFC Playoff Picture: Buffalo Bills clinch playoff spot

The Bills are in the postseason

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 in the playoffs. That’s the biggest takeaway from Sunday’s game. After their win against the Atlanta Falcons and the Baltimore Ravens losing to the Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo is officially one of the top seven teams in the conference.

Of course, Buffalo wants a home playoff game and to win the division, but they can’t do it until next week. A home win over the New York Jets and the Bills are the AFC East champs. It doesn’t matter if the New England Patriots win or lose against the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo controls their own destiny. If Buffalo loses and the Patriots win, it’s New England. If both New England and Buffalo lose, it’s the Bills.

The Bills are 10-6 and can’t be caught by any of the eight-loss teams. With the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers playing in the final week, one of them will be 10-8 and the Ravens fell to eight losses today. Since Buffalo owns the tiebreakers over the Dolphins, Buffalo is in the postseason.

Still, it’s been a long time since all four conference-championship teams from the previous season made the playoffs in the following year. This looks like a trend-breaker.

With the outcomes, three more teams joined the list of AFC clubs that can’t make the playoffs; the Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, and Miami Dolphins. Despite being 8-8, the Baltimore Ravens can still sneak into a spot thanks to their win over the Colts earlier this year, but they’ll need help.

AFC East Standings

  1. Buffalo Bills (10-6, 4-1 AFC)
  2. New England Patriots (10-6, 3-2 AFC East)
  3. Miami Dolphins (8-8)
  4. NY Jets (4-12)

AFC Standings

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

y- Clinched division
x- Clinched playoff spot
italics- Eliminated
*- Still to play this week