The New England Patriots are in two different AFC playoff races -- the fight for the No. 1 seed in the conference and AFC East supremacy -- and Sunday's showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills impacts both of those scenarios.
The Ravens look like the best team in the NFL thanks to quarterback Lamar Jackson, who is the betting favorite for NFL MVP. Many football fans and the media have been reluctant to take the Bills seriously so far given their weak schedule. But it's now time to pay close attention to the Bills, whose convincing road win over the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving was quite impressive.
Here's everything Patriots fans need to know about the Ravens vs. Bills Week 14 matchup.
When: Sunday, Dec. 8 at 1 p.m. ET
TV Channel: CBS
Live Stream: FuboTV
Odds (via Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas)
: Ravens -6
Playoff Picture Impact
The Ravens enter Week 14 as the No. 1 seed in the AFC as a result of their Week 13 win over the San Francisco 49ers, combined with the Patriots' loss to the Houston Texans. The Ravens and Patriots have identical 10-2 records, but Baltimore owns the head-to-head tiebreaker because of its Week 9 victory over New England. The Patriots need the Ravens to lose at least one more time for the defending champs to take back the No. 1 seed and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. The Bills are the Ravens' toughest test over the final four games of the regular season.
Buffalo is only a game behind New England for first place in the AFC East, which is a surprising scenario this deep into the season. The Patriots currently own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Bills as a result of their Week 4 win in Buffalo. Therefore, a Patriots loss and a Bills win in Week 14 would still keep New England atop the division, but it likely would also set up a fascinating Week 16 matchup at Gillette Stadium with first place in the division at stake.
A Bills win over the Ravens throws the AFC playoff race into chaos, which would be a pretty exciting scenario for the final three weeks of the season.
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Ravens vs. Bills: Week 14 spread, live stream, playoff picture impact originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston