The Buffalo Bills don't face the best odds of making it to the playoffs in 2016 -- that much is certain. However, through 14 games of the season, the Bills are still alive for the final spot in the AFC playoffs.
Through 14 games, here are the current standings:
6. Miami (9-5, 6-4)
7. Baltimore (8-6, 7-3)
8. Tennessee (8-6, 5-5)
9. Denver (8-6, 5-5)
10. Indianapolis (7-7, 4-6)
11. Buffalo (7-7, 4-6)
You also cannot rule out the current AFC South leaders, the Houston Texans (8-6, 6-4), from the equation either. So, the Bills would have to pass all of the Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, and either the Houston Texans or Tennessee Titans.
How do they do it?
Here's all of what needs to happen for the Bills to make the playoffs:
- The Bills (7-7) must win out, beating Miami and the Jets
- The Dolphins (9-5) must lose their two remaining games to the Bills and Patriots
- The Ravens (8-6) must lose their two remaining games to the Steelers and Bengals
- The Broncos (8-6) must lose to the Raiders, because that will then give the Bills the tiebreaker over Denver at 9-7 due to a better record against common opponents.
- The Colts (7-7) must lose once, either to the Raiders or Jaguars
- One of the Texans or Titans have to lose both of their remaining games. The Texans play the Bengals in Week 16, and the Titans play the Jaguars. The Texans then play the Titans in Week 17. If both lose in Week 16 and the Colts lose one of their last two games, the Bills are assured to move past both AFC South teams that do not win the division.
Yeah... that's quite the chore. So how about an elimination guide? Here you go:
In Week 16, the Bills will be eliminated from playoff contention if...
- The Bills lose to the Dolphins OR
- The Ravens beat the Steelers OR
- The Titans and Texans both win
Here are your rooting interests for the upcoming slate of games:
- Bills over Dolphins
- Steelers over Ravens
- Bengals over Texans
- Jaguars over Titans
- Raiders over Colts
- Chiefs over Broncos (doesn't actually matter, just for good measure)
May the odds be ever in your favor, Bills fans.