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What Bills fans need to know about the AFC playoff race | Week 14

With a win against Pittsburgh, plus wins from the teams in this graphic, Buffalo can clinch a playoff spot this week.
With a win against Pittsburgh, plus wins from the teams in this graphic, Buffalo can clinch a playoff spot this week.

The Bills can clinch a third playoff berth in four seasons this week with a win over the Steelers and some help from around the NFL.

One result already went in their favor with the Rams' victory over the Patriots on Thursday. The playoff recipe for Week 14 now requires losses by the Ravens, Dolphins, and Raiders, in addition to a Bills win.

Here's a look at each of those games, plus some silver linings in case the chips don't fall perfectly.

Kansas City (11-1) at Miami (8-4) – 1 p.m. on CBS

The situation: The Dolphins continued to keep pace with the Bills with their victory over the Bengals last week. Their next test comes against the reigning champions – who, along with the Steelers, are one of two teams currently ahead of the Bills in the AFC standings.

Silver lining if Miami wins: While it would delay the Bills' playoff berth and keep the AFC East race tight, it would also provide them a chance to move within striking distance of the Chiefs for the top seed.

Indianapolis (8-4) at Las Vegas (7-5) – 4:05 p.m. on CBS

The situation: The Raiders enter the week on the outside of the playoff picture, while the Colts currently hold the third and final wild card.

Silver lining if Las Vegas wins: It would still be a loss for a contender in the AFC's crowded playoff race. (Although, according to FiveThiryEight's playoff model, the outcome of this game alone does little to affect the Bills' odds.)

Baltimore (7-5) at Cleveland (9-3) – Monday at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

The situation: If the Chiefs, the Colts, and the Bills all win on Sunday, it would set up for a situation in which a Ravens loss would clinch a Bills playoff berth (sound familiar?)

Silver lining if Baltimore wins: OK, it's unlikely, but in the event the Browns lose this week and still manage to stage a comeback and take the AFC North crown, we could look back at this game as one that gave the Bills an edge in seeding atop the conference.

One more to keep an eye on …

Tennessee (8-4) at Jacksonville (1-11) – 1 p.m. on CBS

The situation: The Titans are tied with the Colts atop the AFC South following their loss to Cleveland last Sunday.

What to root for: A Jaguars victory, which would maintain the Colts' status as the division leader and benefit the Bills for seeding purposes. The Titans own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Bills.

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