Breaking down the Week 15 playoff picture of the Buffalo Bills
By Ryan Heckman
Week 15 features a slate of games where NFL fans get the chance to have their football spread across an extra day, with the Buffalo Bills being one of three Saturday games this weekend.
Buffalo takes on the Miami Dolphins in the prime time slot Saturday night, with quite a bit riding on this game for Miami. It won’t be easy, either, as the Dolphins will be playing in the elements.
For the Dolphins, specifically, they could drop out of the playoff picture altogether with a loss, assuming the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Chargers both win.
For the Bills, though, things wouldn’t get so bad if they were to lose to Tua and the Dolphins. At the moment, they’re sitting pretty at the 1 seed. All they need to do is beat Miami and they will stay right there at the top of the AFC. It’s that simple.
Best case playoff scenario for the Bills after Week 15: Staying on top with the 1 seed
If the Bills manage to lose to the Dolphins, things could change a little bit. Now, it’s worth it to say that there is a very slim chance the Chiefs also lose to the Houston Texans this week. Then, there’s the Bengals who take on Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If the Bengals beat Tampa, while the Bills also lose to Miami, it doesn’t affect Buffalo.
Because Buffalo has a better conference record than Cincinnati, they would remain atop the conference at 10-4, with the Chiefs and Bengals also at 10-4 in this scenario.
Best case playoff scenario for the Bills with a loss: 1 seed
There’s also a scene where the Bills lose and the Ravens beat Cleveland. If that happens, then the Bills do indeed drop down a little bit because, although both teams would be 10-4, and share the same conference record, the Ravens have a better divisional record. That means Buffalo would drop down two spots.
Worst case playoff scenario for the Bills with a loss: 3 seed
Dropping down to the 3 seed doesn’t sound terrible by any means, but it would be significant due to one simple fact: that coveted first round bye week.
Getting an extra week off to prepare and get healthy is crucial in the playoffs, especially for a team like Buffalo that’s dealt with their fair share of injuries this season.
The Dolphins have much to play for in this one, as their playoff hopes could be hanging in the balance with just one more loss this season. There are so many teams still alive in the AFC postseason race, so this game could be closer than we might think.