With the 3rd best record in the AFC at 7-3, the Buffalo Bills are in prime position to make the playoffs this year. If Buffalo wins all of its remaining games, it is guaranteed a playoff spot. That may be a bit far fetched with some tough matchups upcoming. The last six opponents for the Bills are below:

  • Denver Broncos
  • @Dallas Cowboys
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • @Pittsburgh Steelers
  • @NE Patriots
  • New York Jets

The Bills will be favorites against the Jets and Broncos, and will likely need to win at least one more game to attain a playoff spot at 10-6.

In this article, I will assume the Bills beat the Broncos, Jets, and Steelers, but lose to the Cowboys, Ravens, and Patriots. The Bills have a 5-2 AFC conference record, which should help them as the season draws to a close. Let's take a look at some of the other teams they are competing against.

Oakland Raiders (6-4), 4-2 conference record

After Antonio Brown's drama, not many expected the John Gruden led Raiders to produce much on offense. However, the Raiders now stand at 6-4 and are right in the middle of the playoff race.

Their schedule is as follows:

  • @Jets
  • @Chiefs
  • Titans
  • Jaguars
  • @Chargers
  • @Broncos

The Raiders have one of the easier remaining schedules in the league, as they play just one team above .500. Fortunately for Buffalo, Oakland plays 4 of its last six games on the road. If the Raiders did manage to win four of their previous six games, Buffalo would be in a tight spot. The Raiders would have a 10-6 record with an 8-4 conference record. That doesn't leave much margin for error for a Buffalo team that will be huge underdogs on the road against the Patriots and an underdog against the suddenly unstoppable Ravens.

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If both the Raiders and the Bills finish with a 8-4 conference record, the tiebreaker will come down to common opponents. Currently, the Raiders have wins over the Broncos and Bengals, and the Bills have wins over the Bengals and Jets. That makes Buffalo's game against the Broncos this week even bigger, as Buffalo would then own the tiebreaker over Oakland if both teams finish 10-6.

Verdict: Oakland Raiders are the biggest threat to steal a wild card spot from the Bills

Houston Texans (6-4), 5-2 conference record

After a thrashing from the Ravens, Houston slipped to the 6th seed in the AFC.

Even with the loss, it's hard to see this team losing the AFC South. The Texans will play the Colts this week in a game that will have huge consequences for the division, as the winner will control its own destiny to the postseason. The Texans remaining schedule is below:

  • Colts
  • Patriots
  • Broncos
  • @Titans
  • @Buccaneers
  • Titans

With four of their last six at home, the Texans are favorites to finish with at least a 10-6 record, which should be good enough to win the AFC South. If the Colts do manage to beat the Texans this week, Bills fans should be rooting for the Titans in later weeks, as Buffalo has the head to head tiebreaker over that team.

Verdict: Texans likely to win the AFC South and be a non-factor in the wild-card hunt

Indianapolis Colts (6-4), 5-4 conference record

The Colts may have a backup quarterback in Jacoby Brisset, but they've proven that they can't be taken lightly this season. At the top of the AFC South, the Colts still need to win several more games to lock up a playoff spot. Their remaining schedule is below:

  • @Texans
  • Titans
  • @Buccaneers
  • @Saints
  • Panthers
  • @Jaguars

It's hard to see the Colts beating the Texans and the Saints on the road, which puts the Buffalo Bills in a very strong position.

If the Colts lose to the Texans, they will have a 5-5 conference record, meaning that the Bills will have the tiebreaker over Indianapolis if they can beat the Broncos, Jets, and Steelers in their final six games. Aside from that, the Colts will play four of their last six games on the road. Running back Marlon Mack, a huge part of the team's offense, also just broke his hand.

Verdict: The Colts are a threat, but if the Bills take care of business and beat the teams they should beat, Indianapolis will not make the playoffs over Buffalo.

Tennessee Titans (5-5), 3-4 conference record

In the next few weeks, every Bills fan should be rooting for the Titans to make a run.

They play the Colts once, the Raiders once, and the Texans twice, and don't have a great AFC conference record. The Buffalo Bills own the head to head tiebreaker over Buffalo, so the Titans would have to win each of their remaining games to make the playoffs over Buffalo. Their schedule is below:

  • Jaguars
  • @Colts
  • @Raiders
  • Texans
  • Saints
  • @Texans

An ideal scenario for Buffalo would be if the Titans won the first four games on that schedule and then fell to the Saints and Texans. That would place the Titans at 9-7, and Buffalo might even sneak into the playoffs with a 9-7 record thanks to their head to head victory over Tennessee.

It's certainly less likely that the Titans make the playoffs, but the team has finished the last three years with a 9-7 record. It wouldn't be surprising to see this team with that record again.

Verdict: A Titans team that Bills fans want to win, as Buffalo holds a key tiebreaker over them

Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5), 4-3 Conference Record

Unlike the other teams listed, the Buffalo Bills actually play the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 15. If Buffalo wins that game, it pretty much eliminates the Steelers from being a threat to the Buffalo Bills playoff chances. If Buffalo doesn't manage to win that game, the Steelers suddenly become a huge threat to steal a wild card spot from the Bills.

The Steelers remaining schedule is below:

  • @Bengals
  • Browns
  • @Cardinals
  • Bills
  • @Jets
  • @Ravens

It won't be an easy road for Pittsburgh, but they do play just two teams with a winning record in their last six games. It's even possible that the Ravens rest their starters in week 17, depending on how the rest of the season goes. It all makes that week 15 game even more critical for Buffalo.

Verdict: If the Bills can beat the Steelers in week 15, not a threat. If the Steelers win, Bills fans will have to hope some other teams can beat them.

Cleveland Browns (4-6), 4-3 conference record

It seems silly to put a team like Cleveland on this list, but the truth is that the Browns are a legitimate threat to make the postseason.

The Browns currently hold tiebreakers over the Buffalo Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers. They play one of the easiest schedules in the NFL. Their opponents are listed below:

  • Dolphins
  • @Steelers
  • Bengals
  • @Cardinals
  • Ravens
  • @Bengals

The Browns play just one team with a winning record, the Ravens, in their last six games. The Browns may win all 6 of their remaining games. If they do, the Bills would likely be behind the Browns in the playoff race at 10-6. Even if Cleveland won five out of six games, their presence could be problematic for Buffalo. The Bills would need to rely on the Titans and Browns finishing at 9-7 to have an outside chance at a playoff berth with nine wins.

Verdict: Cleveland is a real threat. If the Bills can win four of their last six, it will be a nonfactor. If not, the Browns could snatch away a playoff spot.

Conclusion

Right now, the Buffalo Bills control their own destiny. Win at least four of six games, and a playoff spot is pretty much guaranteed. With three wins, the Bills are also likely to make the playoffs. But that loss to Cleveland hurt, and gave the team less breathing room. For the next few weeks, Bills fans should be rooting for the Titans and against the Browns, Steelers, Texans, and Colts.

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