Buffalo may be playing for pride

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:30 AM ET

The Buffalo Bills can't look back -- frustrating early-season losses in winnable are too painful. They can't look forward either -- the math is starting to look overwhelming.

Despite playing their best football in a number of years that could take them all the way to a 10-6 record should they win their final three games, the Bills are far from assured of a playoff berth.

With yesterday's dominating 37-7 win over the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo did its part, but news from around the league wasn't so co-operative.

Victories by the Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens all hurt their cause yesterday.

Buffalo coach Mike Mularkey said he refuses to analyze the playoff race game-by-game. Instead, he has emphasized the Bills take care of their own business.

"The playoff race started the first week of the season," said Mularkey, whose team has battled back from an 0-4 start to become one of the hottest teams in the NFL. "I'm not going to emphasize it because again, we still have work to do.

NEED LOTS OF HELP

Even with their loss yesterday to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New York Jets lead the AFC wildcard race at 9-4. The Ravens and Broncos are next at 8-5 followed by the Jaguars, who like the Bills are 7-6.

With only two spots available, the task is tough considering as it stands now, the Ravens, Broncos and Jags would all beat the Bills in tiebreaking scenarios.

"We're trying to get somewhere where we still have a lot of work to do," Bills safety Lawyer Milloy said. "Part of our emphasis is not to fall into the trap where we are 6-6 and still far away from the playoffs. We have to take care of our own business first."


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