The Buffalo Bills looked dead in the water just three weeks ago when it came to the AFC playoff race after losing their third game in a row. They were beat up pretty badly by the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team that was in a similar position to them, and looked pretty much done for at 3-7. A win and a bye week later things don’t look as bleak as they did after that game in Pittsburgh.
The Bills are one game behind the Tennessee Titans for the final spot in the AFC playoffs. The Titans lead a tiebreaker between six teams that are currently at 5-6 while the Bills are tied with the Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders at 4-7. The Bills have beaten three of the six 5-6 teams in head-to-head match-ups — the Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets. They’ve lost to two of the 5-6 teams, Steelers and Jets, as well as one of the 4-7 teams, the Browns. The Bills pretty much have to leap ahead of seven teams — all of the 5-6 teams and the Browns — within the next five games to have a shot at the playoffs.
While it may sound like a long shot it’s important to note that the Bills have the easiest schedule in the entire NFL with five games to play. They host the 2-9 Atlanta Falcons in Toronto on Sunday then go on the road against the 2-9 Jacksonville Jaguars and the 3-8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They follow that up with a home game against the 5-6 Dolphins in cold Buffalo the weekend before Christmas. They play their final game of the season on the road against the 8-3 New England Patriots.
The Bills actually have a chance to play meaningful games well into December. When it’s all said and done it might be too late for them to get that final playoff spot, but at least they won’t be playing out the season without a prayer. Who knows, maybe they will pull off a miracle. Stranger things have happened.