Skip to main content

Who To Root For

What Bills fans need to know about the AFC playoff picture | Week 16


The Bills have clinched the AFC East, but there is still seeding to be fought for.

"It's always important to get as high a seed as you can," head coach Sean McDermott said. "That's my firm belief. You want to get as high a seed as you can and play as well as you can and win the games moving forward that you can control."

With the No. 1 seed in the AFC all but out of reach, the Bills now turn their attention to holding down No. 2 and guaranteeing a second home playoff game should they advance beyond Wild-Card weekend.

Buffalo and Pittsburgh are tied for the second seed at 11-3, but the Bills hold the head-to-head tiebreaker thanks to their Sunday night victory in Week 14.

According to The New York Times' playoff simulator, the Bills can clinch the second seed this week with a win over the Patriots combined with losses by the Steelers and Titans.

Here's a look at those two games.

Indianapolis (10-4) at Pittsburgh (11-3) – Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS

The situation: The Steelers have lost three straight games after going undefeated through their first 11. They face a Colts team that can still finish as high as the second seed or miss the playoffs completely.

The odds: The New York Times' playoff simulator gives the Bills a 69-percent chance of earning the No. 2 seed going into the weekend. A Steelers loss combined with a Bills victory on Monday would increase that number to 98 percent. Root for the Colts.

Tennessee (10-4) at Green Bay (11-3) – Sunday at 8:20 p.m. on NBC

The situation: The Titans hold the edge over the Colts atop the AFC South by virtue of a tiebreaker. They visit the Packers, who currently hold the top spot in the NFC.

The odds: The Titans hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Bills, meaning the Bills will have to maintain their one-game lead to avoid being leapfrogged. The Times gives the Bills an 18-percent chance of falling to the fourth seed going into the weekend. That number could rise above 50 percent with a Bills loss combined with a Titans victory. Root for the Packers.

One more to keep an eye on …

Cleveland (10-4) at New York Jets (1-13)

The situation: What seemed unlikely weeks ago is now feasible: The Browns could have a chance to play for an AFC North title in Week 17 if the results go their way this weekend. Step 1 is handling a Jets team coming off its shocking first win of the season.

The odds: It would come down to tiebreakers, but the Browns could leapfrog the Bills by winning out and the Bills losing out. Root for the Jets.

Related Content