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Thursday Night Football: Bills vs. Jets has significant impact on AFC Playoff Picture

The Week 10 Thursday Night Football game between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills has plenty of significance in the AFC Playoff Picture.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

When the New York Jets and Buffalo Bill square off on Thursday Night Football to kick off Week 10 of the NFL schedule, the outcome of the game will certainly impact the AFC Playoff Picture. The Jets currently are in the 5th spot in the AFC playoff picture, with the Bills lurking in the pack labeled "in the hunt". The winner of this game will be greatly helping their cause for a playoff push entering the second half of the season.

Take a look at the current AFC Playoff Picture heading into Week 10:

1. New England Patriots (8-0) - Bye
2. Cincinnati Bengals (8-0) - Bye

3. Denver Broncos (7-1)
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4)

4. Indianapolis Colts (4-5)
5. New York Jets (5-3)

In the hunt:

7. Buffalo Bills (4-4)
8. Oakland Raiders (4-4)
9. Kansas City Chiefs (3-5)
10. Miami Dolphins (3-5)
11. Houston Texans (3-5)

Simple scenarios show the importance of this game. If the Jets are able to defeat the Bills in prime time they would move their record to 6-3, putting some distance in between not just themselves and the Pittsburgh Steelers, in the 6th slot at 5-4, but also between themselves and the rest of the teams vying for a ticket to the AFC postseason party.

If the Bills are somehow able to go into Metlife Stadium and beat the Jets, not only would it put the Jets in jeopardy of losing their current position in the race for the postseason, but it would narrow the gap between the Bills, currently in the 7th position in the AFC Playoff Picture, and the Jets and Steelers.

For fans of the Steelers, it is a tough situation in terms of who to root for in this contest. The Steelers would love to have the No. 5 seed in the AFC Playoffs, if the division title is out of reach, and the Jets are currently standing in their way; however, the Bills winning the game would make for a tighter race down the stretch with a Steelers team who doesn't have the best conference record standing behind them in terms of tie-breakers.

Either way, Rex Ryan's return to New York should be entertaining, and the outcome will certainly skew the AFC Playoff Picture come Friday morning.