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Bills Day After: Wild-card visibility remains low

The Buffalo Bills tried their darnedest to reduce their playoff chances Sunday.

Sean McDermott seemingly playing for a tie by punting on fourth-and-1 from the Indianapolis Colts' 41-yard line with 4:07 left in overtime.

You don't count on emergency quarterback Joe Webb hitting Deonte Thompson for 34 yards and LeSean McCoy finishing off the game with a 21-yard touchdown run.

But the Bills remain on the playoff prowl midway through December, an accomplishment in itself considering preseason expectations.

The Bills are 7-6 but, thanks to tiebreakers, are in eighth place and just out of a wild-card slot.

The Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers also are 7-6. The Chiefs lead the AFC West on a tiebreaker over the Chargers, who beat the Bills.

Some playoff projections late Sunday night showed Buffalo in sixth place, thus holding the second of two wild-card invitations.

But the Ravens (3-0) are ahead in the common-opponents tiebreaker over the Bills (2-1), projecting the Ravens for the second wild-card berth and the Bills two slots out of the playoffs.

Vic Carucci's Take Five: Bills do all that was necessary to beat lowly Colts

But they each have two more common opponents to play, as you can see below.

The AFC hierarchy can – and inevitably will – change over the next three weeks.

The Bills' final three opponents will fight back. Next Sunday's home finale is against the Miami Dolphins, then at the New England Patriots on Christmas Eve and wrapping up at the Dolphins on New Year's Eve.

Chiefs' remaining schedule: versus Chargers, versus Dolphins, at Denver Broncos.

Ravens' remaining schedule: at Cleveland Browns, versus Colts, versus Cincinnati Bengals.

Chargers' remaining schedule: at Chiefs, at New York Jets, versus Oakland Raiders.

The New York Times' Playoff Machine gives the Bills a 23 percent chance of making the tournament with Monday night's game between the Patriots and Dolphins yet to be played. As awkward as it might feel, Bills fans should root for the Patriots, who are so far ahead in the AFC East it won't matter how good their record is.

Those numbers, of course, do not factor what the chances would be if tight end Logan Thomas needs to play quarterback.

The Bills were helped in the wild-card race by the Tennessee Titans (a 3-point favorite over the Arizona Cardinals) and Ravens (5.5-point underdogs to the Pittsburgh Steelers) losing Sunday.

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