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What Bills win over the Cowboys in Week 15 means for NFL playoff picture in AFC/NFC

Bills stomp the Cowboys to help their playoff chances. We break down what it means for the AFC/NFC playoff picture.

Running back James Cook #4 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates after a rush against the New York Jets during the second quarter of the NFL game at MetLife Stadium on September 11, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

There wasn’t much drama in Orchard Park Sunday afternoon as the Buffalo Bills had their way with the visiting Dallas Cowboys. They blew them out with ease 31-10. The MVP for the game was Bills RB James Cook. He put up 179 rushing yards and a touchdown on 25 carries and added two receptions for 42 yards and another touchdown

The Bills win moves them to 8-6 on the season. They remain in second place in the AFC East, as the Dolphins had no trouble beating the Jets in Miami this week. They don’t have a great chance to overtake the Dolphins for the AFC East lead, but they did already beat the Dolphins and will face them again in Week 18. If they can gain a game on the Dolphins between now and then, that would be a game for the division.

Right now they’d like to overcome other teams in a similar spot in the wild card race. Those teams are the Bengals, Colts, Steelers, Jaguars, Texans, Browns, and Broncos. The Bengals, Colts, Texans, and Browns all won, which is bad for the Bills chances. The Steelers and Broncos lost. The Broncos loss was helpful, but the Steelers beating the Colts would have likely been a better outcome.

At this point, the Browns, Bengals, Colts and Texans are in the playoffs while the Bills are just on the outside looking in. The Jaguars lead the AFC South, but at 8-5 and a game on Sunday night against the Ravens, Baltimore could knock them down to 8-6, tied with the Texans. The Jaguars win the tiebreaker, but it wouldn’t take much for the Texans to pass them by and put Jacksonville in the wild card race again.

The Bills will now take on the Chargers next week in Los Angeles, then back home against the Patriots, and will finish in Miami to take on the Dolphins. They should be able to beat the Chargers and Patriots, even though they lost to the Patriots already, but they are the better team. That would set them up for a Dolphins game that could be huge.

The Cowboys on the other hand have opened the door for the Eagles to take the NFC East lead back with a win against the Seahawks on Monday night. They did clinch a playoff berth earlier in the day, but getting home field games is important, as we just saw them get blown out on the road in Buffalo.