If we told you at the beginning of the NFL season that the Buffalo Bills had a legitimate chance at the AFC East title, you’d probably laugh at us.
Well, here we are heading into Week 14 and the Bills have a 9-3 record, good for second in the division behind the 10-2 New England Patriots. Of course, the Patriots are no surprise considering they’ve dominated the league for the last 20 years.
Now, Buffalo doesn’t control its fate for the AFC title, much like New England no longer controls its destiny over clinching home-field advantage throughout the course of the playoffs. Both teams will need some help in each aspect.
But let’s take a look at how the Bills can clinch the top spot in the AFC East, with help from Buffalo Rumblings.
The Pats and Buffalo square off in Week 16. If neither team loses until that game and the Bills defeat New England, the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets the following weeks and the Pats defeat the Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals, then the squads would end its years with identical 13-3 overall records, and would split the season series 1-1 in the head-to-head tiebreaker (since the Patriots defeated Josh Allen and Co. earlier this season.)
And a New England loss to Buffalo would move it to 5-1 against its division, which would match the Bills’ division record. If that somehow is the case, then it goes to common games as the tiebreaker.
Because the Bills lost to the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles — two teams the Patriots defeated — Buffalo would have to defeat the Ravens, who it faces in Week 14, since Baltimore beat New England.
Got all that?
So if Buffalo overcomes Lamar Jackson and Co. on Sunday, it still has a shot at the AFC East’s top spot. If it doesn’t, well then Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the rest of the Patriots club likely will be on their way to yet another AFC East title.
Bills Mafia may have gotten a bit bigger, even if just for a game, considering there’s probably a lot of people out there who don’t want to see the Patriots atop the division yet again.
Thumbnail photo via Mark Konezny/USA TODAY Sports Images