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

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

A general view of fans during a game between the Buffalo Bills and the Minnesota Vikings at Highmark Stadium on November 13, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images

Results update: The Bills beat the Dolphins 32-29 and have clinched a playoff berth with the win. They have a little more work to clinch the division, but they’re headed to the playoffs no matter what happens the final three weeks. The Dolphins drop to 8-6 and remain in sixth place overall pending the outcome of the Patriots, Chargers, and Jets games on Sunday.

The NFL is back for its annual December Saturday football and Week 15 closes Saturday with a huge AFC East showdown. The Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills kick off at Highmark Stadium in Buffalo at 8:15 p.m. ET. The Bills are a 7.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Dolphins playoff picture

The Dolphins are 8-5 after two straight losses to the 49ers and Chargers. They are two games back of the Bills and a game up on the Patriots and Jets in the AFC East. They are currently in sixth place overall in the conference standings, a game back of the Bengals in the wild card race.

If Miami wins, would be a game out of first and have clinched the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Bills with a season sweep. They would remain in sixth place regardless of the Bengals Sunday result because Cincinnati has the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Bills playoff picture

The Bills are 10-3 and have won four straight games. They are in first place in the AFC East, holding a two game lead over the Dolphins. They’re in first place overall in the conference, tied with the Chiefs and hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.

If Buffalo wins, they clinch a playoff berth and a share of the AFC East title. If they lose, they would remain in first place in the division, but could drop to second place in the conference if the Chiefs beat the Texans.

Tiebreaker implications

The big tiebreaker is head-to-head between these two. The Dolphins won the first game and so they’ll be looking for the series sweep. For overall playoff seeding, the first tiebreaker after head-to-head is conference tiebreaker.