Stampeding to the postseason

MIABUFHar Har.

For the most part, regardless of how the Bills are doing in the context of this latest NFL season, a shutout victory over the Dolphins at home always feels pretty damn good. Who would’ve believed this team had a snowball’s chance in hell of making the playoffs a few weeks ago? Granted, it’s a slim chance, but that chance is greater than 0%. Based on where my football mind was before the season (somewhere between the black abyss the Arizona Cardinals have occupied for the last decade and Camden, NJ), I’m pretty pleased with where this team is at this point.

Harrington

Another in a long line of hapless Miami quarterbacks.

QB J.P. Losman has shown enough promise in the second half of the season that Buffalo fans everywhere have lowered their guns, untied their nooses and left the rooves of their buildings in the hopes that the Bills my have finally found a quarterback for the future. (A future absent of Todd Collins, Alex Van Pelt, Billy Joe Hobert and Drew Bledsoe.) There are enough young guys proving themselves that the losses the team is sure to suffer in the offseason (CB Nate Clements, LB London Fletcher, and some other vets) are sure to be surmountable.

This team has shown promise like this before, though, so leave that door to the roof unlocked for now, Buffalo. I’ll be content with a respectable showing this year with an eye toward an improved 2007. But it may be way too soon to use Bills Parcells’ Patented Anointing Oil on a team that is likely another year away from a playoff berth.

***

Speaking of playoff berths, here’s what needs to happen for the Bills to make the postseason, courtesy of WGR 550:

First things first…the Bills must beat TEN and BAL. Then, they must find themselves ahead of 3 teams currently tied at 8-6. The Bills have to pass 3 of these 4 teams: CIN, DEN, JAX, and NYJ (all 8-6).

Cincinnati:
If CIN beats IND, then they need just 1 more win (against either DEN or PIT) to get to 10 wins, and clinch a spot ahead of Buffalo. The Bills need CIN to lose 2 out of 3…but WHO they lose to matters. If common opponents becomes an issue (NE, BAL, SD, IND) Cincy would be 1-3 going into tonight, and losing to the Colts would mean 1-4, matching Buffalo’s mark of 1-4. From there it goes to strength of victory, where things go crazy, depending on WHO the Bengals beat in their 1 allowed win in the next 3 games. (Beating Denver is better for Cincy than beating Pittsburgh, based on the team’s records and also what those two teams do in the OTHER game they play this year – Den v. SF and Pit v. Baltimore)

Denver:
The Broncos still play home against CIN and SF. In order to pass Denver, the Broncos must LOSE both games. If they lose to CIN and beat SF that would put Denver 9-7, 7-5 in conference (matching the Bills), and the tiebreaker would go to common opponents: NE, BAL, SD, IND. Denver’s record is 2-3…Buffalo’s is 1-4. You need Denver to lose both.

If KC wins their last two and Denver splits their last two, then they each end up 9-7 and only one can advance in a 3-way or more team tie since they are in the same division. KC has the tiebreaker and would eliminate Denver. Bills have the tiebreaker over KC.

Jacksonville:
The Jags play home against New England, and on the road in Kansas City. If they lose either one of those games, the Bills would pass them.

New York Jets:
The Jets can CLINCH a spot OVER BUFFALO by beating Miami. It would put their division record at 4-2, ensuring that they win a tiebreaker. The Jets need to LOSE to Miami…the Oakland game is irrelevant for the Bills. A loss to Miami would put the Jets at 3-3 in the division, tied with the Bills at 9-7, and their conference record would be lower at 6-6.

-Jeremy White, WGR55

Oh, and another thing that I could probably devote an entire post to, but won’t because it gives me a headache just thinking about it: I get the distinct impression ABC play-by-play man Al Michaels is more concerned with his tee time and the rarity of his steak than he is about a job that pays him millions to do an adequate job of calling a football game. God forbid Sunday Night Football takes place in a cold weather market. That prima donna might flip out and lock himself in his dressing room.

That’s all.

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