NFL Week 13: Buffalo Bills Playoff Shot

Garrett HirschmanContributor INovember 28, 2008

I was going to write a Bills-Niners preview, but what is there really to say? Run the football and limit turnovers and they will win.

I fully expect Buffalo to win this weekend. The only way they lose is by overlooking San Francisco, and they are in no position to do that.

So let's talk about the playoffs. Playoffs? Yup, playoffs.

The Bills face a tough battle to either win the division or snatch a wild card. They are in a very tough division and cannot afford to lose to a division opponent.

I have said that no 11-5 team will miss the playoffs, and I still stick with that. I will also go out on a limb and say that if the Bills go 11-5 they probably will win the division. If you throw a loss on each of the Bills division rivals by means of a Buffalo victory and factor in their other opponents it seems that 11-5 will most certainly win the division by whoever posts that record.

Sounds simple enough, right?

Yeah, but we all know that winning out or even going 4-1 is a very tall order for this Bills team.

So what about a wild card?

Well, the Colts are pretty much a lock to get a wild card at 7-4. They have a very easy remaining schedule against the Browns, Bengals, Lions, Jaguars, and Titans. The Titans may be meaningless to Tennessee by the end of the year and could be an easy win for the Colts against backups.

The Ravens are also sitting at 7-4 but they have a much tougher schedule, including games against the Redskins, Steelers, and Cowboys. The Ravens are good, but too young to win all three of these games. They will be on the outside looking in come January.

The Bills have to pass two teams in their division to get a wild card. The best candidates for that are Miami and New England. The Dolphins are not quite there and have some tough games left against the Bills and Jets. All we have to do is beat them in Toronto and they will be out.

The Patriots have to play the Steelers this week, which will be a tough game, and then the Bills get them in Buffalo on the last week of the season. That game could very well be for a wild card spot.

So, unlike years past, the Bills control much of their own destiny at this point in the season. They will need a little help and that help seems to be likely to come at this point.

Playoff Prediction: Bills finish at 10-6 and just miss the playoffs.

Sunday's Prediction: Bills look sharp and beat the Niners, 34-10.