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Buffalo Bills rooting interests Week 14: Herbert vs. Tua on SNF

Asking for more help after what happened in Buffalo’s favor during Week 13 seems greedy

Los Angeles Chargers v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

When last we discussed Buffalo Bills rooting interests in the 2022 AFC playoff picture — one week ago today — we could not have asked for a much better outcome for the home team. Buffalo got (nearly) exactly the help they needed last Sunday, and after starting the week as the No. 5 seed in the AFC, now control their own destiny as the conference’s No. 1 seed.

This week, Bills fans don’t have the benefit of sitting back and relaxing while the action around Buffalo unfolds; the Bills host the New York Jets at Highmark Stadium in the early game set, and are looking to get back to .500 in the division with their second straight AFC East win. But while the Bills themselves won’t be scoreboard-watching, fans surely will.

Here’s who Bills fans should root for in Week 14.

New York Jets (7-5) at Buffalo Bills (9-3) — 1:00 p.m. EST, CBS

This sort of goes without saying. We’re Bills fans; we root for the Bills to win. Mix a Bills victory with a Jets loss in this outcome, and Buffalo ends up with a three-game cushion on this talented, upstart team, with only one foe left to vanquish en route to a third straight division title. Buffalo needs to take care of business here.

Root for a Bills win.

Cleveland Browns (5-7) at Cincinnati Bengals (8-4) — 1:00 p.m. EST, CBS

Kudos to Cincinnati for knocking off Kansas City (for a third straight game!) last weekend, and helping the Bills vault back to the top of the AFC conference standings. It would be helpful, though, if they could lose this week to the Browns, seeing as they’re only a game back of the Bills in the standings and, should they win the AFC North, Buffalo does not have a head-to-head tiebreaker over them at the moment (though that may change in Week 17).

Root for a Browns win.

Houston Texans (1-10-1) at Dallas Cowboys (9-3) — 1:00 p.m. EST, FOX

Houston is eliminated from the playoffs, the only AFC team to achieve that result thus far. We therefore don’t care if they win from here on out, but it’s actually more helpful if Dallas emerges victorious here, as that outcome has better strength-of-victory (SOV) and strength-of-schedule (SOS) implications for the Bills, since Houston has already lost to Miami, Tennessee, and the Chargers.

Root for a Cowboys win.

Minnesota Vikings (10-2) at Detroit Lions (5-7) — 1:00 p.m. EST, FOX

Buffalo has played both of these teams, losing at home to Minnesota in what will hopefully end up being the team’s last loss of the season, and beating Detroit on the road on Thanksgiving Day. Root for the team that the Bills have beaten for a small boost to their strength-of-victory metric.

Root for a Lions win.

Philadelphia Eagles (11-1) at New York Giants (7-4-1) — 1:00 p.m. EST, FOX

This game carries very little import for the Bills, particularly since both teams are currently undefeated against AFC opponents this season (the Giants are 4-0, and the Eagles are 5-0). There is therefore no SOV victory to be had here, but should the Giants lose, it would mean a small SOS hit for Baltimore, weakening a playoff contender in the final tie-breaking metric.

Root for an Eagles win.

Baltimore Ravens (8-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7) — 1:00 p.m. EST, CBS

You could argue this game either way. A Baltimore win won’t hurt the Bills a ton, since it would guarantee that Baltimore stays atop the AFC North for another week (and behind Buffalo in the standings). But as long as we’re rooting for a Bengals loss, we may as well root for a Ravens loss too—and a two-game lead for the Bills over both North division title contenders.

Root for a Steelers win.

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8) at Tennessee Titans (7-5) — 1:00 p.m. EST, CBS

I will only recommend rooting for the Tennessee Titans in the absolute rarest of circumstances, and this game does not even remotely meet that criteria.

Root for a Jaguars win.

Kansas City Chiefs (9-3) at Denver Broncos (3-9) — 4:05 p.m. EST, CBS

Russell Wilson can’t suck for an entire season, right? Same with Nathaniel Hackett? They have to have one mesmerizingly good performance up their sleeves, that one late-season performance that gives the organization and its fans a glimmer of hope that they are not completely tanked for the lifetime of Wilson’s contract. Man, it would be so sweet if this were that week.

Root for a Broncos win.

Carolina Panthers (4-8) at Seattle Seahawks (7-5) — 4:25 p.m. EST, FOX

Another game of very little import, where we’re scraping the bottom of the tie-breaker barrel for reasons to care. That reason is SOV and SOS, and a Panthers loss would lower each for both Baltimore and Cincinnati.

Root for a Seahawks win.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6) at San Francisco 49ers (8-4) — 4:25 p.m. EST, FOX

The last game of the week where the outcome matters very little. We’re using the same SOS/SOV logic as in the previous matchup, and the advantage there would be a Tampa Bay loss, as they have already been beaten by Kansas City and Baltimore.

Root for a 49ers win.

Miami Dolphins (8-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (6-6) — 8:20 p.m. EST, NBC

This matchup favors Miami, as the Dolphins feature the NFL’s most explosive passing offense, while the Chargers are pretty terrible at defending the pass this season. Our best hope here is probably a vintage Justin Herbert performance in which he out-scores Tua Tagovailoa in an epic shootout.

Root for a Chargers win.

New England Patriots (6-6) at Arizona Cardinals (4-8) — 8:15 p.m. EST Monday, ESPN

Buffalo currently holds a three-game cushion (with a game in hand) on the Patriots, and it sure would be nice if New England didn’t have anything to play for when these two teams meet again in the regular-season finale.

Root for a Cardinals win.

AFC playoff picture, Week 14

1 Buffalo Bills 9-3 1-2 6-2 +124 W3
2 Kansas City Chiefs 9-3 3-0 5-3 +80 L1
3 Baltimore Ravens 8-4 2-0 5-3 +49 W1
4 Tennessee Titans 7-5 3-0 5-3 -21 L2
5 Cincinnati Bengals 8-4 1-3 5-3 +57 W4
6 Miami Dolphins 8-4 2-1 6-2 +10 L1
7 New York Jets 7-5 2-2 5-4 +29 L1
8 New England Patriots 6-6 2-2 5-3 +23 L2
9 Los Angeles Chargers 6-6 2-3 4-4 -37 L1
10 Cleveland Browns 5-7 2-1 3-6 -10 W2
11 Pittsburgh Steelers 5-7 1-2 2-6 -64 W2
12 Las Vegas Raiders 5-8 3-2 4-5 -5 L1
13 Indianapolis Colts 4-8-1 1-3-1 4-5-1 -89 L3
14 Jacksonville Jaguars 4-8 1-2 4-4 -14 L1
15 Denver Broncos 3-9 0-3 2-7 -38 L4
16 e — Houston Texans 1-10-1 1-1-1 1-6-1 -99 L7