The Buffalo Bills moved up the AFC standings in a big way on Sunday with their win over the Cleveland Browns. They shot up from No. 11 in the conference to eighth overall, and now sit just a tiebreaker away from the sixth and final playoff spot. Here's how it breaks down:
The four division leaders are now all at least one game clear in their respective races; New England, Denver, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis are in pretty good control entering the final month. The San Diego Chargers are the lone 8-4 wild card team, with a glut of 7-5 clubs - including Buffalo - falling in behind them.
Those 7-5 clubs include the Bills, the Miami Dolphins, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Baltimore Ravens, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and those Browns. To break ties in the wild card, only one team from each division is considered, so the three-way tie for second in the AFC North needs to be broken by the first tiebreaker; head-to-head record. Baltimore is 2-1 against Pittsburgh and Cleveland, Pittsburgh is 2-2, and Cleveland is 1-2, giving the Ravens the tiebreaker for now.
Taking the top 7-5 team from each division nets Miami, Kansas City, and Baltimore. Miami goes first thanks to head-to-head wins, so Buffalo bumps up next. In this three-way race, Buffalo's loss to the Chiefs doesn't matter as its own tiebreaker. Instead, the Chiefs' 5-4 record in the AFC puts them ahead of the Bills' 4-5 and the Ravens' 3-5. Pittsburgh beats out Cleveland on the third tiebreaker- record in common games - and Cleveland is now at the bottom of the 7-5 pack.
|1||New England Patriots||9||3||0||.750||2-1||6-2|
|5||San Diego Chargers||8||4||0||.667||2-2||6-3|
|7||Kansas City Chiefs||7||5||0||.583||1-3||5-4|