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NFL playoff picture: What does Bills-Dolphins mean for AFC standings

The Bills face the Dolphins in Miami on Sunday. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills take on the Miami Dolphins in Week 18. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 7.

This game has massive implications for both teams. The Dolphins win the division and the No. 2 seed in the AFC with a victory, and fall to the seventh seed with a loss. The Bills will earn the second seed with a win, but could be eliminated from the playoffs entirely with a loss. Let’s take a look at how this all plays out.

Update — If the Dolphins beat the Bills, they will head to Miami to take them on again in the first round of the playoffs. If the Bills beat the Dolphins, the Steelers would travel to Orchard Park to take on the Bills in the first round.

Update — The Bills clinched a playoff spot with the Jaguars’ loss on Sunday afternoon. Buffalo and Miami will still play for the No. 2 seed and AFC East title. But both teams are in the playoffs.

Bills playoff picture

The Buffalo Bills have gone on quite the tear in one of the NFL’s toughest stretches over the last several weeks. They notched wins over the Chiefs and Cowboys after an overtime loss to the Eagles, and have set themselves up for a shot at the AFC East championship. The only team standing between the Bills and a No. 2 seed in the AFC is the Miami Dolphins, who they face on Sunday. The Bills defeated the Dolphins, 48-20, earlier this season.

If the Bills are unable to win here, though, they could be left out of the playoffs entirely. They could still be in if the Ravens beat or tie the Steelers, or if the Titans beat or tie the Jaguars. A Colts-Texans tie would also send the Bills to the playoffs. In this scenario, they are looking at a No. 6 or No. 7 seed.

Dolphins playoff picture

If the Dolphins win this game, they will earn the second seed in the AFC. If they lose, they drop to the No. 6 seed in the AFC and lose home field advantage.

The Dolphins enter as 2.5-point underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook.