Monday Bills Musings: AFC Logjam

Will the Buffalo Bills make a playoff push in the second half of the season? It's certainly a possibility, but the Bills will face quite a bit of competition in their conference. Eleven teams enter Week 10 with at least five wins in the AFC.

The Buffalo Bills are in the playoff hunt as they start the second half of their season. Unfortunately for the Bills, there are no shortage of teams that are in the hunt. Eleven AFC teams have at least five wins entering Week 10. The NFC only has six teams with five or more wins at this point. It'll be very difficult to make the playoffs in the AFC this season, and the Bills will face some pretty difficult competition over their final eight games. 

Second Half Headaches?

Are the Buffalo Bills playoff contenders or pretenders? Entering Week 10, it’s very hard to tell. That being said, Buffalo’s second half schedule will clear things up rather quickly. Buffalo’s “third quarter” is against the likes of the Chiefs, Dolphins, Jets and Browns. Minus the Jets, all three teams are in the thick of things in the AFC playoff picture. Buffalo has wins over the Dolphins and Jets and on paper are better than the Browns. The team must go 3-1 during this stretch if they want to be taken as a legitimate playoff contender. Three of the four games are at home, so Buffalo will have a home-field advantage as they prepare for their final four games.

The Bills finish the year with the Broncos, Packers, Raiders and Patriots. The Green Bay game will be Buffalo’s only home game over that stretch. Interesting note: The Packers have never defeated the Bills in Buffalo. The Bills would like that to continue. Among the final four games, the Raiders game is the only matchup in which the Bills will likely be favored. Weather could factor into the Broncos and Patriots games. Here are some other notes on Buffalo’s second half schedule:

-The Chiefs have not had a wide receiver score a touchdown for them all season.

-The Chiefs have not allowed a rushing touchdown all season.

-The record of Buffalo’s opponents in the second half of the season is 34-32

-The Bills have three division matchups left and three matchups against the AFC West.

-Buffalo’s only primetime game will be against the Dolphins on November 13th. The Bills beat the Dolphins on TNF in 2012 19-14. Buffalo has won their last three games against the Dolphins and 4 of the last 5.

-The Dolphins, Broncos and Raiders games will be the only three Bills games this season that didn’t start at 1 pm.

It’s easier said than done, but certainly a possibility as Watkins and Orton continue to develop chemistry.

Random Musings

-Fred Jackson hopes to return to the lineup against the Kansas City Chiefs. Having Jackson would certainly help Buffalo’s run game which has struggled greatly. Jackson, Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown will all have to step up their respective games over the final stretch of the season.

-Marquise Goodwin is also expected to return to the lineup this week for the Bills. If he returns, Mike Williams may find himself on the inactive list for Week 10. Goodwin gives the Bills a legitimate speed weapon. Last season, Goodwin caught a 59 yard touchdown pass against Kansas City. He’ll certainly add another dimension to Buffalo’s offense in the second half of the season.

-Buffalo’s special teams has been pretty strong all season and their best gunner, Marcus Easley, looks ready to return as well. Many will overlook his return, but he’ll make an impact on special teams.

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