Kim O'Reilly, CBS Sports

When the Buffalo Bills were 5-5, fresh off a horrible home loss to the Denver Broncos, they were considered done, a playoff long shot with Josh Allen the target of loads of criticism based on his play and his propensity to turn the ball over.

Six games later, the Bills will be playing for a division title this week against the Miami Dolphins with a chance to be the AFC's No. 2 seed. Their only loss in the past five games was in overtime to the Eagles, a game they probably should have won.

Buffalo made a change at offensive coordinator after the loss to the Broncos, replacing Ken Dorsey with Joe Brady, a move that has paid off in a big way. Allen has cut down on the turnovers and has even put himself in the MVP talk, although that will definitely go to Lamar Jackson.

The other change for the Bills has been the improvement of the defense during the past six games. That unit has improved as players have returned to health, players like corner Christian Benford, safety Micah Hyde and defensive tackle DaQuan Jones. The improvement of linebackers Terrel Bernard and Tyrel Dodson has really impacted that unit as well.

Buffalo is up to No. 4 in my Power Rankings this week, a spot most didn't see them occupying six weeks ago. At 10-6, the Bills could still be a playoff team even if they don't beat the Dolphins this week. But the easiest path is a win-and-in scenario.

The dysfunction after the Denver loss is way behind this team. So is the foolish talk that Allen was overrated, that coach Sean McDermott could be on his way out and that the window for this group was closed.

It's far from it. In fact, they might be the biggest challenger to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC, even if they don't beat Miami this week but still get into the playoffs. As they ready to face Miami, consider this: Allen is 9-2 in the regular season against Miami with 31 touchdown passes against five picks, and he's also 1-0 in the playoffs against the Dolphins. Earlier this year, Allen threw four touchdown passes, ran for one and had a perfect passer rating in a blowout of the Dolphins. 

And now the Dolphins defense comes in banged up and having been carved to shreds by Jackson, with its two top pass rushers, Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips, out for the year. Chubb was lost for the season in the team's loss to the Ravens Sunday with a torn ACL. 

The Bills look to be rolling to a division title, although winning at Miami won't be easy. The Bills are now the team most of us expected them to be before the season, which is why that Denver loss seems so far in the rear-view mirror. 

Biggest Movers
6 Cowboys
6 Seahawks
1 Ravens They are the class of the NFL right now after blowing out Miami just a week after dominating the 49ers. Lamar Jackson is the MVP. -- 13-4-0
2 49ers They bounced back from their loss to the Ravens to beat the Commanders and lock up the No. 1 seed in the NFC. They will be tough to beat at home. 1 12-5-0
3 Cowboys They needed some controversial help late to beat the Lions, but they did it. With the Eagles losing, they need to beat Washington to lock up the No. 2 seed. 6 12-5-0
4 Bills Beat Miami this week and they win the AFC East. This team will be tough to beat come playoff time. 2 11-6-0
5 Browns Kevin Stefanski is the coach of the year for getting this team to the playoffs with so many injuries and Joe Flacco resurrecting his career. Amazing. 2 11-6-0
6 Dolphins They were embarrassed in Baltimore, but they also suffered some tough injuries. They need to beat the Bills this week to win the AFC East, which won't be easy at home. 4 11-6-0
7 Lions That was a tough loss to the Cowboys on the road, even with the controversy contributing to it. They will be either the No. 2 or No. 3 seed in the NFC. 3 12-5-0
8 Chiefs It wasn't pretty against the Bengals, but the offense did show some life in the second half to win the division. Now they will open the playoffs at home. -- 11-6-0
9 Eagles They have major issues as they fell out of controlling their fate to win the NFC East by losing to the Cardinals. They have defensive issues in a big way. 4 11-6-0
10 Rams They didn't play great in beating the Giants, but they are now a playoff team. They will be a dangerous wild-card team. -- 10-7-0
11 Jaguars If they win this week against the Titans, they win the division. But playing in Nashville hasn't been kind to them over the years. 1 9-8-0
12 Texans Getting C.J. Stroud healthy got them back on track against the Titans. At 9-7, they need to beat the Colts to be a lock to make the playoffs and could also win the division. 2 10-7-0
13 Steelers By beating the Seahawks, Mike Tomlin now has 17 consecutive non-losing seasons coaching the Steelers. He also might get them into the playoffs. 2 10-7-0
14 Packers Jordan Love has really played well in the second half of the season. If they beat the Bears, they will be a playoff team. 6 9-8-0
15 Buccaneers That was a bad showing against the Saints, but if they beat the Panthers this week they win the division. The offense has to be better. 4 9-8-0
16 Saints By beating the Bucs on the road, they are still alive in the playoff race. They need to beat the Falcons and hope the Bucs lose to the Panthers. 6 9-8-0
17 Bengals Losing to the Chiefs ends their playoff hopes. The Jake Browning push ran out, but they hung around after losing Joe Burrow for the season. 1 9-8-0
18 Colts They are 9-7 and can win the AFC South if they beat the Texans and the Jaguars lose to the Titans. The defense has come on down the stretch. 1 9-8-0
19 Seahawks Losing to the Steelers at home really puts a damper on their playoff hopes. They will need to win and get help this week to get into the postseason. 6 9-8-0
20 Bears The Bears have really turned their season around down the stretch. Justin Fields needs to be their quarterback for the future and watch out for them in 2024. 4 7-10-0
21 Vikings Losing to the Packers pretty much ends their playoff chances. They have quarterback issues that magnify how much they miss Kirk Cousins. 3 7-10-0
22 Falcons By losing to the Bears, they need to beat the Saints and hope the Panthers beat the Bucs to win the NFC South. If they don't make it, is Arthur Smith done? 3 7-10-0
23 Broncos Jarrett Stidham is 1-0 as a starter, but it won't matter. They are eliminated, which sets the stage for an interesting offseason. 2 8-9-0
24 Raiders The Antonio Pierce-led playoff hopes ended with the loss to the Colts. But there is no doubt in my mind he should be their coach for the long term. 1 8-9-0
25 Cardinals Jonathan Gannon has done a good job with this team. Winning at Philadelphia speaks volumes about his coaching. 1 4-13-0
26 Jets They looked like they were already on the beach in Bermuda the way they played against the Browns. Talk about lifeless. 1 7-10-0
27 Titans They can play spoiler this week if they can beat the Jaguars. But this season has been a major disappointment and changes are coming. -- 6-11-0
28 Giants Tyrod Taylor did some good things against the Rams, and Brian Daboll's team is still fighting. The good news is they played close with the Rams and still lost for draft pick slotting. -- 6-11-0
29 Patriots Will this week's game with the Jets be the last for Bill Belichick as the Patriots coach? If so, it's the end of a special era. -- 4-13-0
30 Chargers So much for the interim coach boost. That lasted a week. Now it's on to finding the right guy for the long term. -- 5-12-0
31 Commanders There will be sweeping changes after the season. It's gone from bad to really bad in a lot of ways. -- 4-13-0
32 Panthers This season can't be over fast enough. When the owner is throwing drinks on the opposing fans, it's time for it to end. -- 2-15-0