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AFC playoff picture, NFL Week 16: Buffalo Bills need two wins and help

The Buffalo Bills are still alive in the AFC playoff race with two games remaining, but they need two wins - starting with a road trip to Oakland this Sunday - and a lot of help to get there. Here's what you need to know.

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The playoff scenarios for the Buffalo Bills are pretty bleak, folks; there's no getting around it. Even with yesterday's 21-13 win over the Green Bay Packers in hand, Buffalo is going to need to beat both the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots on the road to even have a shot to move into playoff position - and then they're going to need a lot of help to vault past at least three teams in front of them in the standings.

But it's definitely still possible. Here is how the Bills can move past the five teams in front of them for the wild card.

Cincinnati Bengals (9-4-1, No. 4 seed)

Despite their perch at the top of the AFC North, the Bengals could fall apart. Their last two games are at home against Denver and on the road in Pittsburgh. If they lose those two games, Pittsburgh is the likely AFC North champion, and Buffalo would jump past them with victories.

Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5, No. 5 seed)

For the Bills to move past Pittsburgh, the Steelers need to lose to both of their remaining games to Kansas City and Bengals. There is no way for Buffalo to top the Steelers' seven conference wins in a tiebreaker scenario.

Baltimore Ravens (9-5, No. 6 seed)

Baltimore needs to lose out for the Bills to have a shot at passing them. Buffalo would then beat them on AFC record. If Baltimore splits their final two games, they would beat the Bills in the third tiebreaker by virtue of a better record in their five common games (all of which have not yet been completed) - against San Diego, Cleveland, Houston, and Miami (3-2 versus the Bills' 2-3).

Kansas City Chiefs (8-6, No. 7 seed)

Unfortunately for the Bills, the Chiefs and Steelers meet this week. Buffalo needs Kansas City to split their games against the Steelers and San Diego to move ahead of them...

San Diego Chargers (8-6, No. 8 seed)

... Unfortunately for the Bills, the Chargers and Chiefs meet in Week 17. (Sensing a pattern yet?) The Bills will need the Chargers to split. It would be lovely if they'd lose to San Francisco this week, setting up a split scenario in which they'd beat Kansas City in Week 17.

In a nutshell, and this is the easy and important thing to keep track of: if three of the above teams make it to 10 wins, the Bills are toast, even if they finish 10-6. That means even with a win in Oakland, Buffalo could be out of the hunt as early as the end of the Bengals' Monday Night Football contest a week from today if the three AFC North teams pick up wins.