Here’s the math
The 9-3 Buffalo Bills can clinch a playoff spot in Week 14 by beating the 11-1 Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football to move to 10-3. That means their worst record would be 10-6. Let’s dive into how.
A loss by the Baltimore Ravens either tonight or next week would give them six losses. Buffalo’s Week 14 win would give them a 7-2 record in the AFC while the Ravens are already 4-5, which the Ravens could tie. It would move to record vs common opponents and in this scenario, Buffalo has a win over Pittsburgh and New England, while Baltimore has zero wins against Kansas City, Tennessee, Pittsburgh, and New England. Buffalo wins on record vs common opponents.
A loss by the Las Vegas Raiders would put them at six losses on the year, and Buffalo’s head-to-head tiebreaker over them is secured by a head-to-head Bills win.
A loss by the New England Patriots moves them to seven losses. Since the Patriots can still win several tiebreaker scenarios with the Bills, we need them to have that seventh loss.
A loss by the Miami Dolphins moves them to 8-5. They could still pass the Bills for the division if Buffalo is up two games with three to play, but the Raiders and Dolphins play later in the year so one of them would be out in any three-way tiebreaker scenarios, as the Bills have already clinched the tiebreakers over Miami.
The Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts would figure into this equation as the other two Wild Card teams with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Tennessee Titans currently leading their divisions.
All of those things need to happen for Buffalo to clinch a playoff spot in Week 14.
Buffalo clinches a playoff spot if:
- Bills win
- Ravens lose
- Patriots lose
- Raiders lose
- Dolphins lose