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Buffalo Bills playoff picture: who to root for in 2014 NFL Week 16

The scoreboard watching will reach new levels of interest for Buffalo Bills fans starting this Saturday, as the 8-6 Buffalo Bills need two wins and some help if they're going to end their 14-year playoff drought.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills need to win two games to have a shot at making the playoffs, and that starts this coming Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. More needs to happen, too, and Bills fans can start rooting on Saturday (and, hopefully, straight through to Monday) for specific games to break our way.

The scenarios are set. Here are this week's rooting interests to make it happen:

Bills (8-6) over Raiders (2-12)

Sunday, December 21, 4:25 p.m. ET

If Buffalo is going to make the playoffs, they need to run the table. Step one: travel across the country and avoid a letdown game after facing two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks. This is going to be a very interesting week, to see how the Bills handle the proverbial calm before the storm.

Broncos (11-3) over Bengals (9-4-1)

Monday, December 22, 8:30 p.m. ET

Denver is still playing for playoff seeding, and their home record is much better than their road record, so they'll want home-field advantage. (This game will be played in Cincinnati.) The Bengals' hopeful two-game slide, which would pave the way for the Bills leapfrogging them in the standings, starts on Monday night.

Texans (7-7) over Ravens (9-5)

Sunday, December 21, 1:00 p.m. ET

Houston is turning to their third-string quarterback, which is less than ideal for Bills fans, but they have won meaningful games with backup quarterbacks in the past. If Buffalo is going to pass Baltimore, the Ravens are going to need to lose both of their remaining games.

49ers (7-7) over Chargers (8-6)

Saturday, December 20, 8:25 p.m. ET

Unfortunately, the 49ers have been eliminated from the playoff picture in the NFC, which takes some meaning out of the game for them. Fortunately, they still have a lot to play for as uncertainty surrounds their organization. This outcome isn't an absolute must for the Bills like some of the other games on the slate, but a loss by San Diego adds an out in Week 17 if Kansas City wins this week and needs a loss in the finale.

Steelers (9-5) over Chiefs (8-6)

Sunday, December 21, 1:00 p.m. ET

If Pittsburgh stops Kansas City and San Diego falls to San Francisco, both 8-7 AFC West teams would be a game behind the 9-6 Bills, meaning a win in Foxboro would solidify Buffalo ahead of both San Diego and Kansas City. While the win would mean Buffalo could not pass Pittsburgh, it would also mean that the Steelers could beat the Bengals (or Cleveland could beat the Ravens in Week 17) and allow the Bills to pass one or both of Cincinnati and Baltimore into playoff position.

If all of this happens, Buffalo will still only be in seventh place in the AFC heading into Week 17, so they'd need a win plus more help. (But a whole heck of a lot less of it.)