Bills playoff scenarios for Week 18: Buffalo clinches playoff spot in AFC, still has shot at AFC East title

The Bills will travel to Miami to meet the Dolphins, the victor of which will be declared AFC East champion. However, Buffalo’s pre-field elimination from the playoffs was assured on Sunday night due to the Jaguars’ defeat.

Entering the final week, Buffalo may have had the most intriguing situation of any team. They were capable of finishing as low as the number two seed and potentially missing the semifinals entirely. They are an unwelcome opponent with legitimate Super Bowl potential.

The following is comprehensive information regarding their quarterfinal scenarios:

How the Bills can clinch

In four different scenarios, the Bills could have secured a berth in the playoffs:

  1. A victory at Dolphins secures the AFC East title and the second seed (TBD).
  2. A tie secures a postseason berth (TBD, unnecessary).
  3. The Jaguars secure a playoff berth with a loss/tie.
  4. A draw between the Texans and Colts secures a postseason berth (Texans prevail).

The notion that we were discussing a winner-take-all contest for the AFC East championship is somewhat absurd, given that the Bills trailed the Dolphins by three games with five games remaining. With five weeks remaining, they are tied with the 1973 Bengals, the 2008 Chargers, and the 2022 Jaguars for the fourth time in NFL history to finish in first place of their division.