AFC playoff picture: Buffalo Bills are knocking on the door

Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills / Bryan M. Bennett/GettyImages

Not many expected the Buffalo Bills or Cincinnati Bengals to be sitting where they are at this point of the NFL season, which is outside the playoffs, looking in. There are still plenty of games remaining for both teams to get right and make a late push, but the outlook is very different for both teams, as they seem to be headed in opposite directions.

The Bengals lost their franchise quarterback Joe Burrow and have dropped two straight games and the Bills, after a rough six weeks, just put up 32 points against the Jets, more than any team has scored against them this season. Can the Bills build off this win and can the Bengals rally around their backup quarterback, Jake Browning?

For a while, the Kansas City Chiefs sat atop the AFC standings but Monday's loss against the Philadelphia Eagles, opened the door for the Baltimore Ravens to step into that number-one spot. However, all seven teams currently in playoff spots are separated by only a game in the loss column. The four teams just outside the playoffs are all only two games in the loss column behind the Ravens.

AFC Playoff Picture

1. Baltimore Ravens (8 - 3)

2. Kansas City Chiefs (7 - 3)

3. Jacksonville Jaguars (7 - 3)

4. Miami Dolphins (7 - 3)

5. Cleveland Browns (7 - 3)

6. Houston Texans (6 - 4)

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (6 - 4)

In the hunt

8. Buffalo Bills (6 - 5)

9. Indianapolis Colts (5 - 5)

10. Denver Broncos (5 - 5)

11. Cincinnati Bengals (5 - 5)

The Bills have a chance to make a big statement this weekend when they take on the Philadelphia Eagles and the Bengals can shuffle things up a bit too, if they can defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers followed the Bills' example and fired their OC, Matt Canada. Will it make a difference, guess we'll find out on Sunday.

The Texans have an opportunity to prove they belong when they host the Jaguars. Jacksonville is currently 3 - 1 in the division, including an early season win over the Texans, who stand at 1 - 1 in the AFC South. Denver can make a splash too if they can win their fifth in a row, this time against the Cleveland Browns. With so many teams still in the hunt, not only for a playoff spot but also the top seed, the remaining seven weeks should be fun.

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