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AFC playoff picture, 2015 NFL Week 13: Bills one game back

Despite all the agony and frustration Bills fans are feeling right now, they're just one game out of playoff position with a game against sixth-place Houston this Sunday.

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 would have been sitting pretty in the AFC with a win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Instead, it's KC who is looking down at the rest of the field in the wild card race, while Bills fans lament another lost season.

Not so fast! Buffalo is just one game out of a playoff spot heading into Week 13, and can still play their way into position.

Obviously, the biggest game for Buffalo was the loss to the Chiefs, but the Bills received help from Seattle, who beat the fifth-place Steelers. Pittsburgh tumbles out of playoff position to be replaced by Houston, who won big on Sunday. Also winning were the New York Jets and Oakland.

Here are the complete standings. With a NFC North matchup on Thursday Night Football, nothing will change until Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET, when all eyes will be in Buffalo on the Texans and Bills. The Raiders and Chiefs kick off at 4:05 p.m. ET in another crucial contest.


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

To clarify a bit: Indianapolis and Houston are tied for the AFC South lead, but a head-to-head win from Indy puts them in the No. 4 spot, and leaves Kansas City, Houston, New York, and Pittsburgh in a four-way tie for the two wild card spots. AFC record puts the Chiefs ahead of the pack, followed by the Texans, Jets, and Steelers. Buffalo sits just one game back, and in a three- or four-way tie, the head-to-head tiebreaker Kansas City just earned is thrown out the window to start.