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Buffalo Bills playoff scenarios: Week 15 rooting interests

Who should Buffalo Bills fans be rooting for this week? We've got your complete list and elimination scenarios.

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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 can be eliminated from the playoff race this week for the first time in 2015. That would continue a streak that has run 15 previous seasons. If Buffalo beats Washington, they will live to fight next week no matter what happens around the rest of the league. If Pittsburgh or the Jets win and Buffalo loses, the Bills will be on to the offseason.

Here are the rooting interests for this week and the AFC playoff standings.


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

+ - eliminated from the playoffs

Who to root for

Buffalo (6-7) over Washington
Sunday, December 20th, 1:00 p.m.

If the Bills lose, there will be bigger questions than those about the playoff race. Right now they have to run the table just to get to Doug Marrone's 9-7 record. Can Doug Whaley survive an epic collapse? Maybe Buffalo wins out - and there's no reason to think they can't beat each of the three teams on their schedule - and this is all a moot point.

Denver (10-3) over Pittsburgh (8-5)
Sunday, December 20th, 4:25 p.m.

Buffalo needs Pittsburgh to lose two of their last three games to pass them. This is by far the most difficult remaining game for the Steelers and would go a long way to keeping Buffalo in the hunt.

Baltimore (4-9) over Kansas City (8-5)
Sunday, December 20th, 1:00 p.m.

Kansas City needs to lose all three of their games in order for the Bills to pass them. This is step one.

Dallas over New York Jets (8-5)
Saturday, December 19th, 8:25 p.m.

New York needs to lose one game in addition to their finale against Buffalo. It could be this week or next week against the Patriots.

Green Bay over Oakland (6-7)
Sunday, December 20th, 4:05 p.m.

The Raiders are ahead of the Bills thanks to their superior conference record. They play San Diego and Kansas City after Green Bay. If they lose any of these games, they'll be behind Buffalo's 9-7 hypothetical record.


If Buffalo wins, they might not move up in the rankings at all this week. With two games separating the haves and the have-nots, Buffalo just needs to stay alive. Stranger things have happened. A loss and it will all be over but for the fat lady singing.