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12-10-2012, 06:31 PM
  #300
Taro Tsujimoto
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Surprisingly, there's still quite a few ways the Bills can make the playoffs (though they'd have to win all of their remaining games to make all of this relevant):

Quote:
Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) -- Okay, so the Buffalo Bills loss on Sunday to the St. Louis Rams all but mathematically did the franchise in for their playoff hopes in 2012, right?

To a certain degree, probably, yes. But if things fall their way and no other team does better than 8-8, the Bills somehow still have a shot.

The Bills would have to win out the remainder of their games (which is unlikely) and then hope for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals to finish the season 1-2, and the New York Jets not to go 3-0. For the purposes of this explanation, we're assuming that all of that (which probably won't happen) happens and the final playoff team in the AFC that makes it in ends up with an 8-8 record.

That clinches the playoff spots of both Indianapolis, Baltimore and New England, so let's not go there.

At this point, there are six teams in the AFC that can end up with an 8-8 record. The list includes Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, San Diego, Cleveland and the New York Jets.

Miami, although having a 5-8 record, is ruled out because of the perceived loss to the Bills in Week 16.

With the help of one of my favorite things in existence, ESPN.com's 2012 NFL Playoff Machine, I have taken on the task to find out what happens with EVERY single 8-8 scenario. The results I have found might be a little shocking to head coach Chan Gailey, who said that the playoffs are out of the picture on WGR Sports Radio 550 on Monday.

There are some important things to note:

1) I'm abiding by the laws of wins and losses. The percentages of there being another tie in this NFL season with one of the games important to this discussion is so small that I didn't account for them. Also, my mind would have exploded.

2) Pittsburgh, Cincinnati or both have to be in each of the 8-8 scenarios, based on their Week 16 matchup.

3) The New York Jets and San Diego Chargers cannot be in the same 8-8 scenario, based on the Jets' perceived loss to Buffalo along with the Week 16 matchup between the Jets and Chargers.

With that established, I've broken it down in to who gets in to the playoffs (based on the ESPN.com 2012 NFL Playoff Machine) in two-team, three-team, four-team, and five-team ties.

Here are my findings:

Two-Team Ties
Buffalo and Pittsburgh: Buffalo gets in
- Pittsburgh beats Cincinnati but loses to Dallas and Cleveland

Buffalo and Cincinnati: Buffalo gets in
- Cincinnati beats Pittsburgh but loses to Philadelphia and Baltimore

Three-Team Ties
Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati: Buffalo gets in
- Either Pittsburgh or Cincinnati beat the other and loses their other two games
- It doesn't matter which game is won of the CIN/PIT loser's remaining schedule.

Buffalo, Pittsburgh and New York Jets: Buffalo gets in
- Pittsburgh beats Cincinnati and loses other two
- New York loses to Buffalo and win other two

Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Cleveland: Buffalo gets in
- Pittsburgh beats Cincinnati and loses other two
- Cleveland wins all three of their games

Buffalo, Pittsburgh and San Diego: San Diego gets in
- Pittsburgh beats Cincinnati and loses other two
- San Diego wins all three of their games

Buffalo, Cincinnati and New York Jets: Buffalo gets in
- Cincinnati beats Pittsburgh and loses other two
- New York loses to Buffalo and win other two

Buffalo, Cincinnati and Cleveland: Buffalo gets in
- Cincinnati beats Pittsburgh and loses other two
- Cleveland wins all three of their games

Buffalo, Cincinnati and San Diego: San Diego gets in
- Cincinnati beats Pittsburgh and loses other two
- San Diego wins all three of their games

Four-Team Ties
Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Cleveland: Buffalo gets in
- Either Pittsburgh or Cincinnati beat the other and loses their other two games
- It doesn't matter which game is won of the CIN/PIT loser's remaining schedule.
- Cleveland wins all three of their games

Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and New York Jets: Buffalo gets in
- Either Pittsburgh or Cincinnati beat the other and loses their other two games
- It doesn't matter which game is won of the CIN/PIT loser's remaining schedule.
- New York loses to Buffalo but wins their other two

Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and San Diego: San Diego gets in
- Either Pittsburgh or Cincinnati beat the other and loses their other two games
- It doesn't matter which game is won of the CIN/PIT loser's remaining schedule.
- San Diego wins all three of their games

Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland and New York Jets: Buffalo gets in
- Cincinnati beats Pittsburgh and loses other two
- Cleveland wins all three of their games
- New York loses to Buffalo but wins their other two

Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland and San Diego: Cleveland gets in
- Cincinnati beats Pittsburgh and loses other two
- Cleveland wins all three of their games
- San Diego wins all three of their games

Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and New York Jets: Buffalo gets in
- Pittsburgh beats Cincinnati and loses other two
- Cleveland wins all three of their games
- New York loses to Buffalo but wins their other two

Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and San Diego: Cleveland gets in
- Pittsburgh beats Cincinnati and loses other two
- Cleveland wins all three of their games
- San Diego wins all three of their games

Five-Team Ties
Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Cleveland and New York Jets: Buffalo gets in
- Either Pittsburgh or Cincinnati beat the other and loses their other two games
- It doesn't matter which game is won of the CIN/PIT loser's remaining schedule.
- Cleveland wins all three of their games
- New York loses to Buffalo but wins their other two

Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Cleveland and San Diego: Cleveland gets in
- Either Pittsburgh or Cincinnati beat the other and loses their other two games
- It doesn't matter which game is won of the CIN/PIT loser's remaining schedule.
- Cleveland wins all three of their games
- San Diego wins all three of their games

Six-Team Ties
- Not possible, due to the perceived Jets loss to Buffalo and the Jets/Chargers Week 16 matchup

So there you have it. I took the brain-hurt out of it. Of course, this is all moot if the Bills lose one more game which would officially eliminate them from the post-season. However, this is a helpful guide for the rest of the season.
http://wgr550.com/Buscaglia--In-8-8-...-at-p/14997145

It's certainly an uphill climb, but it's interesting nonetheless.

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