Bills vs Steelers — the stark contrast

BILLS

If futility in the NFL can be defined as finishing in the bottom half of your division with a losing record, then consider the Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills.

Only once since the current divisions were ordered in 2002 have the Steelers finished third or worse in the AFC North, and with a losing record. That was in 2003, when Pittsburgh went 6-10 and finished third behind Baltimore and Cincinnati.

It will happen again if the Steelers lose at home in their season finale to the Cleveland Browns. Third place is in stone for Pittsburgh; the losing record is not. With a win Pittsburgh would get to 8-8.

By contrast, only twice since 2002 has Buffalo NOT finished third or worse in the AFC East with a losing record.

One time was in 2004, when the Bills finished third but went 9-7, the other was in 2007, when Buffalo’s losing record (7-9) was enough to place them second, ahead of both the Jets (4-12) and Dolphins (1-15).

No matter what happens Sunday in their 2012 finale against the visiting Jets, the Bills are guaranteed to finish either last or tied for last in the AFC East, with a 6-10, 5-10-1 or 5-11 record.

Familiar territory, in other words.

 

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