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Assessing the Buffalo Bills’ Playoff Picture

November 27th, 2012 at 7:11 PM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101

Some Buffalo Bills fans may consider this a cruel activity, but the Buffalo Bills are still mathematically alive for the AFC Playoffs.

The Bills stand at 4-7 and are in four-way tie for ninth place, two games back of Pittsburgh and Cincinnati for the sixth and final Wild Card slot. But the Bills are technically in 12th place because they lose all tiebreakers. The Bills' loss to the Colts on Sunday put Indy three games up with five left and gave the Colts the tiebreaker, so catching them would be a near-impossibility.

'Crowd at the Buffalo Bills vs Jackson Jaguars game' photo (c) 2010, mark.watmough - license:

The good news is the Bills play three of their final five remaining games against teams jumbled around them, so running the table against Jacksonville, against St. Louis, against Seattle, at Miami and against the Jets would allow the Bills to drop those teams from consideration. And that's not impossible, given that only the Seahawks are above .500 at this point.

But even a 5-0 record from here – a hard proposition to get behind, given the Bills' offensive woes much of the season – doesn't guarantee the Bills a postseason berth. They'd still need San Diego and Tennessee to lose at least once each, and Pittsburgh and Cincinnati to lose at least twice each.

That results in long odds for the Bills. One Vegas oddsmaker gives the Bills a 5 percent shot of qualifying. Another laid odds of 200-to-1 against Buffalo breaking its 12-year playoff drought.

Long odds indeed, but Bills receiver Stevie Johnson isn't backing off comments he made Sunday that the Bills still have something to play for:

"No, really we’ve still got action. I’m not going to say we’re out of it yet. I think we’ve still got action at being 9-7 and making the playoffs. We’ve still got to rely on other teams, but I seriously think we can still win out and make it to the playoffs."

Bills fans are realistically looking at another meaningless December of playing out the string, but the math proves there is a sliver of hope, however small. That false hope is all Bills fans have had for more than a decade.

Here are the standings in the AFC Wild Card race, in order of position, team, wins and losses.

9San Diego47
11N.Y. Jets47



Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Bills, Football, NFL

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