At 7-3, the Buffalo Bills were already in control of their own destiny. In week 12, Buffalo faced a Broncos team that had been competitive in nearly every game this season. That Denver team nearly defeated a very good Vikings team on the road last week. But the Bills were prepared for the challenge, and completely dominated their home game against the Broncos, winning 20-3. At 8-3 and with a 6-2 AFC record, Buffalo moved one step closer to the NFL playoffs. On Thanksgiving, the 8-3 Bills will face the 6-5 Dallas Cowboys on the road as seven-point underdogs.

The Bills will have a chance to prove they belong with the elite teams in the league in front of a national audience. Even if Buffalo doesn't win, they will still be the 5 seed in the AFC according to ESPN, thanks to some help received on Sunday.

AFC Playoff Picture

Thanks to victories by the Jets and Colts, the next closest team to Buffalo in the playoff race sits at just 6-5. The playoff picture in the AFC is as follows, according to NFL.com.

1) New England Patriots: 10-1

2) Baltimore Ravens: 9-2

3) Houston Texans: 7-4

4) Kansas City Chiefs: 7-4

5) Buffalo Bills: 8-3

6) Pittsburgh Steelers: 6-5

In the hunt:

7) Oakland Raiders: 6-5

8) Indianapolis Colts: 6-5

9) Tennessee Titans: 6-5

10) Cleveland Browns: 5-6

Even though Buffalo has the third-best record in the AFC, they sit at fifth place in the AFC playoff race.

For Buffalo to move up, they'll need some help from a team in New England. At 10-1, the Patriots have the best record in the AFC, but they do finish the year with some tougher games. Next week they'll travel to Houston, and then face Kansas City at home. In week 16, the Patriots will face the Bills. If the Patriots lose both of their games vs the Texans and Chiefs, the Bills could pass them by winning their remaining games.

That scenario would leave Buffalo at 13-3 and New England at 12-4, and the Bills would win the AFC East.

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Wild Card Race for the Bills

Even if Buffalo doesn't win the division, they still have a great shot at earning a wild card berth, especially after a win over the Denver Broncos. Thanks to a 6-2 record, in the AFC, Buffalo holds tiebreakers over all other teams that don't have head to head victories against them. Currently, the Cleveland Browns are the only team with that tiebreaker. Because of that, with two wins in their last five, Buffalo is practically guaranteed a playoff spot. The remaining games aren't easy ones, as Buffalo will travel to Dallas, Pittsburgh, and New England.

They'll get to play Baltimore and the Jets at home.

Surprisingly, Baltimore has never won a game in Buffalo. Even though Lamar Jackson is playing at an MVP level, the Buffalo Bills have the type of defense to slow him down, so that game may be much closer than anticipated. Anything other than a playoff berth after an 8-3 start would be a huge disappointment for both the team and Buffalo Bills fans.

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