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AFC playoff picture, 2015 NFL Week 11: help comes Buffalo's way

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Lots of AFC teams will be watching the Monday Night Football game to see where they stand in the playoff picture.

The Buffalo Bills received an awful lot of help on Sunday. AFC playoff contenders were going down left and right in the early games, though help waned a bit in the late-game session.

Early on, the 5-4 New York Jets, 4-5 Houston Texans, 4-5 Oakland Raiders, and 4-5 Miami Dolphins were all in action and played some tight games. Houston ended up beating New York after not one, but two late Ryan Fitzpatrick interceptions. That evened Houston and New York at 5-5, the best-case scenario behind Buffalo, for that game at least. Both Oakland and Miami lost to NFC opponents, dropping their records to 4-6 and putting them a game and a half behind Buffalo.

In the late games, Kansas City destroyed San Diego, boosting themselves to .500. Buffalo and Kansas City will face off a week from today at Arrowhead Stadium, fighting over a playoff spot, in a game that is shaping up to be a huge one.

Here is where things stand heading into Monday Night Football.

Standings

1. New England Patriots (9-0)
2. Cincinnati Bengals (8-2, 7-1 in AFC)
3. Denver Broncos (8-2, 4-2 in AFC)
4. Indianapolis Colts (5-5, head-to-head win over HOU)
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4)
6. Buffalo Bills (5-4, 5-3 in AFC)
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7. Kansas City Chiefs (5-5, 4-2 AFC)
8. Houston Texans (5-5, 4-3 AFC, head-to-head losses to IND & KC, win over NYJ)
9. New York Jets (5-5, 4-4 AFC, head-to-head loss to HOU)
10. Oakland Raiders (4-6, 4-3 AFC)
11. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-6, 4-4 AFC, head-to-head win over MIA)
12. Miami Dolphins (4-6, 2-5 AFC, head-to-head loss to JAX)
13. Baltimore Ravens (3-7)
14. Cleveland Browns (2-8, 2-6 AFC)
15. San Diego Chargers (2-8, 1-5 AFC)
16. Tennessee Titans (2-8, 0-6 AFC)

Monday Night outcomes

If Buffalo beats the New England Patriots, they vault into fifth place in the AFC at 6-4 thanks to a better AFC record than Pittsburgh (6-3 to 3-4).

In the event of a Buffalo loss, they move back into the tie for spots six through nine. Their 5-4 AFC record (.556 average) would be behind Kansas City's 4-2 (.667) conference mark. It would also move them barely behind Houston's 4-3 AFC record (.571 average), leaving Buffalo eighth in the conference. The Bills eventually play all three teams they would be tied with, starting with Kansas City and Houston over the next two weeks, and concluding with New York in the final week of the season.