Oct 13, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Thad Lewis (9) jumps in the crowd to celebrate his touchdown during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Bill's road to the playoffs

At 3 and 4 through almost half of the season, the Bills are not considered a playoff team. Let’s take a look at the rest of their schedule to see if this perception can be changed.
The Bills have 9 games left and realistically would have to win at least 6 of these games to even have a long shot at making the playoffs. 9 and 7 might get them into the playoffs but 10 and 6 very probably will. So, how possible is it for them to reach these numbers? As a matter of fact it is not impossible if the Bills beat the teams that they can, it may even be more in the realm of possible.
The next 2 games against the Saints and the Chiefs are the hardest part of the remaining schedule. Even if we assume that they lose both of these games the rest of the schedule is against mediocre teams except for the last game against New England.
Buffalo will play the Steelers and the Jets before heading into their bye week in week 12. Both of these teams are beatable and the Bills need to win both games. So if the Bills win these 2 games they go into their bye week with a record of 5 & 6.
Now the Bills have a week to rest up and heal some injuries. Hopefully at this point of the season we have a fully healthy CJ Spiller, Fred Jackson and possibly get EJ Manuel back as well. Assuming the injury bug doesn’t keep biting this team they should come off the bye week healthier than they have been all season.
After the bye week we face the Falcons, Bucs, Jaguars, Dolphins and then finally the Patriots. To make the playoffs we would likely have to win 4 out of these remaining 5 games. All of these teams are beatable this year. The Falcons are not playing very well right now, the Bucs and Jags are 2 of the worst teams in the league. It is the divisional games with the Dolphins and Patriots that are the big games to win. With the tiebreakers for the playoffs being head to head, then divisional record the Bills really need to win the rest of their Division games to cement a playoff spot or possibly help them grab one of the Wild Card spots.
Let’s assume that the Broncos or the Chiefs will claim one of the Wild Card spots with the other winning the AFC west. Of the rest of the teams fighting for the wildcard at this point of the season the best record is 4 and 3. That means that the Bills are only one game out of a Wild Card spot even with their current record.
Yes, many things would have to go right for the Bills to make the playoffs, but if you look at their remaining schedule it is possible. They just have to win all the games they should win and pick up a couple of upsets and they could make it.
These next 2 games are going to be tough, if they could win one of them that would make the playoffs much more realistic but even if they don`t it is still possible to see the first playoff game this century for the Bills.
What does everybody think? Is this possible or just a pipe dream?
Let us know in the comments section below.

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  • chas territo

    It’s a dream, can it come true? I’d love it to come true, but I have to say…. no. I wish I could say yes, especially with this years team playing pretty good. Too many shortcomings to see the play offs in our future, this year, next year, hell yes!! I am one of the biggest Bills fans around and I have misgivings. GO BILLS!!

  • LifetimeBillsFan

    Is it possible? Well, anything is possible if everything falls into place exactly as it must. But, realistic? Probably not. With the way that players have been getting injured around the league, good teams can suddenly be in deep trouble from one week to the next. So, depth and luck in avoiding injuries (and getting a few bounces that go your way) are going to be key to which teams make it to the playoffs. And, here’s where the Bills have a problem: as a rebuilding team they don’t have a lot of quality depth across the board and especially at certain positions–and they’re already banged up with several key players hurting or having already missed time due to injury and not being at their best. Even though they are getting some of their players back and have a bye week ahead, all it would take would be one or two injuries to put them in a desperate situation again. And the Bills just haven’t been known for being lucky with avoiding injuries or getting the bounces to go their way in recent years.

    I don’t place much emphasis on making the playoffs just for the sake of making the playoffs. I’m more interested in seeing the team develop into a consistent contender. And, right now, I think they are a couple of players away from becoming that.

    So, what I think will happen is that the Bills will give it a good try and come close–as they have been close in all of their games thus far this season–but just fall short of making the playoffs. Which I don’t think will be a bad thing as I would rather see them better placed to acquire those couple of key players that they need to become a contender than have them make the playoffs by the skin of their teeth, then get immediately bounced out of the playoffs and lose those couple of positions in the draft that might prevent them from getting the best players they possibly could to fill those key positions that they need to strengthen (no, don’t take my position to its logical extension however because I don’t!).

    I think Marrone and Whaley are in the process of accomplishing what they set out to do this season: change the culture of the franchise and build the foundation of a contender. The team is playing hard, it has been very competitive and it has been learning how to handle being in close games–all with, effectively, one hand tied behind its back. It has to continue to do those things and begin to figure out how to win those tough games when they don’t play well once the key young players–specifically Manuel, Gilmour and Brooks–return to action. I expect there to be more ups and downs during this process before the end of the season. Now, if everything goes well and they get a couple of bounces, sure, the Bills could make the playoffs this season as you point out. But things seldom go as well as they would have to go in order for that to happen. So, I don’t expect them to make the playoffs this season.

    But, I do believe that they are on the way to laying the foundation that needs to be laid in order for this team to become a contender next season. Their play thus far indicates that they aren’t that far away. And, if they can keep up their level of competitiveness and continue to show improvement–particularly after Manuel comes back because he is the key to the future–I’ll be happy because the Bills will end the season well positioned to make the move to the next level and stay there next year. But, there’s still a lot of football to be played and anything can happen…and just might. Who knows!?!

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