Buffalo Bills fall further back in playoff race after week 13 bye but there is hope

After a week off, the Buffalo Bills fell in the AFC playoff race due to the Cincinnati Bengals' big win against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night.

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Buffalo Bills / Perry Knotts/GettyImages
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The Buffalo Bills took the Philadelphia Eagles to overtime in a game many thought Buffalo would get steamrolled, but they took another loss regardless. And when it comes to the NFL, no one cares how you won, as long as you win. After Week 12, Buffalo was sitting in the tenth spot in the race to the AFC Playoffs and now get ready to face the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead.

Unfortunately, with the Bills being on a bye in Week 13, some things played out pretty well but the Bengals winning on Monday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars, moved Cincinnati one spot ahead of Buffalo, pushing the Bills into the 11th spot. I still believe that the Bills have it in them to win out but at the very least, they need to win four of these last five, preferably those four being the remaining AFC opponents on their schedule.

A lot has been said about the Bills' poor conference record, which it is but the outlook isn't that great for the teams hovering around them either. Buffalo has three conference wins but those in front of them, all the way up to the current fifth seed have five or fewer conference wins. If Buffalo can win these four remaining conference games, they'll be sitting at 7 - 5 in the conference and suddenly looking in far better shape than most probably expected.

The positives of Week 13 were the losses by the Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, and Pittsburgh Steelers. While the Bills weren't able to pass those three teams, Buffalo got a little closer this past week. There are five matchups this weekend between AFC teams in Week 14 but here's the thing, if the Steelers, Browns, Colts, Texans, and Broncos all lose, that puts all those teams at 7 - 6. If the Colts lose, that means the Bengals won that matchup, which would put Cincinnati at 7 - 6, couple this with a Bills win against the Kansas City Chiefs and suddenly we have six teams with identical records, vying for all three wild card spots. The Broncos losing would put them at 6 - 7 and fall behind all the other teams. Crazier things have happened.

AFC Playoff Picture

1. Miami Dolphins (9 - 3)

2. Baltimore Ravens (9 - 3)

3. Kansas City Chiefs (8 - 4)

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (8 - 4)

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (7 - 5)

6. Cleveland Browns (7 - 5)

7. Indianapolis Colts (7 - 5)

In The Hunt

8. Houston Texans (7 - 5)

9. Denver Broncos (6 - 6)

10. Cincinnati Bengals (6 - 6)

11. Buffalo Bills (6 - 60

One last thing to note is the number of AFC teams that have lost their starting quarterbacks and now must depend on their backup to continue to fight for a playoff spot. Of the ten teams currently ahead of Buffalo, five of them will be playing their backup quarterback for the foreseeable future. That includes the Bengals, Colts, Browns, Steelers, and most recently the Jaguars. I know there are a ton of Bills fans who have lost faith, but we've seen this team close out regular seasons with five-plus consecutive wins in the past and the teams ahead of them aren't exactly juggernauts. Hold the faith my fellow fans, there is hope yet for the 2023 NFL season.

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