The Buffalo Bills are a massive long shot to make the playoffs right now at 6-7. But there's still a sliver of hope for the team that hasn't made the playoffs in sixteen years. There aren't too many scenarios where the Bills make the playoffs, but there are still a few that will be outlined below. It obviously goes without saying that the Bills are required to win their last three games against the Browns, Dolphins, and Jets to even have a shot at making the playoffs.

Broncos (8-5)

There are several teams the Bills will need to surpass if they are going to make it. One of those teams is the Broncos, who currently sit at 8-5 and in 6th place in the AFC playoff race.

For the Bills to have a chance, they will need the following results to occur.

  • Patriots beat Broncos
  • Chiefs beat Broncos
  • Raiders beat Broncos

Every team on that list has a better record than the Broncos, so it could definitely play out in this fashion.

Dolphins (8-5)

The Dolphins started the year horribly but have performed admirably in a key stretch. The Dolphins currently sit at 8-5 and occupy the seventh slot in the AFC. For the Bills to pass them, the following will need to occur.

  • Bills beat Dolphins in week 16
  • Patriots beat Dolphins in week 17 OR Jets beat Dolphins in week 15

Again, these results aren't that realistic, but the Bills would need everything listed above to occur to make it.

Ravens (7-6)

The Ravens currently sit at 7-6 and hold the tiebreaker over the Bills thanks to their head to head matchup. For the Bills to pass the Ravens in the playoff race, the Ravens would need to lose two of these three games.

  • Eagles beat Ravens in week 15
  • Steelers beat Ravens in week 16
  • Bengals beat Ravens in week 17

If the Ravens lose two of those games, the Bills would move above them in the AFC playoff picture with a 9-7 record.

Texans (7-6)

The Texans currently hold the division lead in the AFC South and seem to have a stranglehold on the division. Still, they are a contender for the wild card spot. Here's what Bills fans should wish for.

  • Texans win AFC South, wild card positioning irrelevant
  • Texans lose two games against Jaguars, Bengals, and Titans, finish 8-8

The best possible outcome for the Bills is a Texans team that wins the AFC South and gives the Titans an extra loss, so it's the outcome that Buffalo should be hoping for.

Titans (7-6)

The Titans are one of the more interesting teams in the league and currently have a record of 7-6. For the Bills to pass them, they will need one of the following events to occur.

  • Two losses against Chiefs, Jaguars, and Texans
  • Houston loses two of last three games against Jaguars, Bengals, and Titans, Titans win division

It's not unreasonable for Bills fans to expect two losses from the Titans in the last three weeks of the season when they will be underdogs against the Chiefs and Texans.

Colts (6-7)

The Colts currently have the same record as the Bills but are just one game back in the division. If the Colts can win all of their remaining games, they have a chance at securing the division.

Here's what the Bills would need to have the Colts eliminated from their playoff race.

  • One loss against the Vikings, Raiders, or Jaguars
  • Colts win out, win division, Titans and Texans finish 8-8 or worse

The Colts are a real long shot here, and shouldn't be a team that the Bills need to worry about.


The Bills need a lot of help if they are going to break a 16 year playoff drought. These are the scenarios that Buffalo absolutely need to have happen if they have any chance of making the playoffs. It's not over yet for us Bills fans, who always seem to hold out hope until our dreams are crushed. Until they are mathematically eliminated, I will continue to root for the Bills like it is any other week.

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