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Every out-of-town game that can help the Bills in Week 16

The Buffalo Bills need help to make the playoffs. Here's where they can get it from this week.

There are five games that affect the Bills' playoff odds, to varying degrees. We'll run through them in order of importance.

As a reminder, every Bills playoff scenario can be found at this link. Here are the current playoff standings for reference.

1. Colts at Ravens

Game time: 4:30 p.m. Saturday, NFL Network.

What the Bills want: A Ravens loss.

Why: The Bills and Ravens are both 8-6. If they both win out, the Ravens have the edge, but if they finish 9-7 with the Bills beating the Dolphins, the Bills have the edge. The Bills need a Ravens loss in either of their last two games, against the Colts (3-11) or Bengals (5-9).

How important is it? A Ravens loss would be the biggest help the Bills could get Sunday (outside of winning their own game).

How likely is it? Not very. The Ravens are the biggest favorites in the league this week against the lowly Colts, who are 14-point underdogs.

What Bills need to make playoffs if they lose to Patriots and beat Dolphins

2. Chargers at Jets

Game time: 1 p.m. Sunday, CBS.

What the Bills want: A Chargers loss.

Why: The Chargers are a game back of the Bills at 7-7, but finish with an easier schedule. They play at the 5-9 Jets this week and host the 6-8 Raiders in the finale. If both teams finish 9-7, the Chargers would have the head-to-head advantage on the Bills, though the Chargers would lose out in a multi-team tiebreaker due to their conference record being worse.

How important is it? A loss in this game would mean the Chargers can't catch the Bills at 9-7, which would give the Bills some relief. It would take a lot of things to fall into place for the Chargers and Bills to end into a two-way tie for the final wild-card spot, but some people think it's the most likely scenario: It would involve the Ravens and Chargers winning out against two weaker teams, the Bills splitting and the Titans losing out against two 10-4 opponents, the Rams and Jaguars.

How likely is it? Vegas has the Chargers as 7-point favorites in the game, though cross-country flights can give teams trouble.

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3. Rams at Titans

Game time: 4:05 p.m. Sunday, CBS.

What the Bills want: It depends.

Why: You might think the Bills want a team they're tied with to lose, but recall from the scenario the above that the Bills lose a two-team tie with the Chargers. For that to happen, one of the Ravens or Titans needs to win out and the other needs to lose out. The Ravens have an easy schedule and the Titans have a hard schedule, so it's possible that could happen. A Titans win in this game would go a long way to closing off a Bills-Chargers tie. However ... this game takes place after the Chargers-Jets game, so you'll know what to root for by kickoff. If the Chargers lose in the 1 o'clock game, they won't be able to catch the Bills at 9-7, so the Bills would be rooting for a Titans loss.

How important is it: This game has some importance, but the big one involving the Titans is their Week 17 game against the Jaguars.

How likely is it? The Titans are 7-point underdogs at home.

Watch: Vic Carucci breaks down the Bills on WGRZ

4. Dolphins at Chiefs

Game time: 1 p.m. Sunday, CBS.

What the Bills want: A Chiefs loss.

Why: This would help set up another way to avoid a two-way tie between the Bills and Chargers. If the Chargers win out and the Chiefs lose out, the Chargers would jump them to win the AFC West and therefore wouldn't count toward the wild-card race. The Chiefs losing out would put them at 8-8, behind the Bills at 9-7. If the Chiefs and Chargers tie at 9-7, the Chiefs win the division.

How important is it: Mildly important. The Chiefs would also have to lose to the Broncos the following week to help the Bills in this scenario, and it's irrelevant if the Chargers lose either of their final two games, but it could save the Bills if they end up tied with the Chargers at 9-7.

How likely is it? Not very. The Chiefs are 10-point favorites at home and can clinch the division with a win.

5. Jaguars at 49ers



Game time: 4:05 p.m. Sunday, CBS.

What the Bills want: A Jaguars win.

Why: If the Titans were to win out and the Jaguars were to lose out, the Titans would jump the Jags for the AFC South title and the Jags would have the first wild-card spot. The Ravens could clinch the other by winning out. A win here would prevent that scenario.

How important is it: Not tremendously important. One Titans loss would also eliminate this scenario. And even if it did happen, one Ravens loss would mean the Bills could pass them for the other wild card at 9-7.

How likely is it? The Jaguars are 4.5-point favorites on the road.

Parlay of the day

If you're looking for a combination of results to root for, it's the first two games on this list (though they're not on the same day). A Ravens loss and a Chargers loss this week would mean the Bills could clinch a playoff berth by beating the Dolphins in Week 17, regardless of what they do against the Patriots this weekend.

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