Playoff outlook: Despite loss, the Bills certainly aren't out of contention - The Buffalo News

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Playoff outlook: Despite loss, the Bills certainly aren't out of contention

The Bills lost to the Patriots on Sunday, 23-3, to fall to 6-6 while the Ravens won and moved a game up on the Bills for the final wild-card spot. But the Bills certainly aren't out of contention, even though it may not feel that way.

The Bills are now tied for seventh place in the AFC with the Chargers and Raiders, and the Bengals can also get to 6-6 if they beat the Steelers Monday night.

The Bills certainly didn't look like a playoff team Sunday, and Tyrod Taylor's injury could move them further out of contender status, but three of the Bills' four remaining games appear winnable. They host the 3-9 Colts Sunday and face the 5-7 Dolphins twice, with one more game against the Patriots looming. The Bills need the Ravens to drop games (they finish with Steelers, Browns, Colts and Bengals), but it's possible the Bills could enter Week 17 at 8-7, needing a win and help to qualify. If the Ravens lose to the Steelers next week and the Bills beat the Colts, they'll both be 7-6 and even on conference record, which is the second tiebreaker.

One other aspect worth noting is the AFC West race. The Chiefs still hold the division lead, though they're tied with the Chargers and Raiders at 6-6. The Bills would be best served if the Chargers won the division, since the Bills lost to the Chargers during the year. The Bills own head-to-head tiebreakers with the Chiefs and Raiders (and they own the Chiefs' first-round pick). So the teams the Bills want to lose going forward, in order of importance, are the 1) Ravens 2) Chiefs and 3) Raiders. If the Bengals win Monday, they would jump the Raiders in terms of importance.

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