Bills Know What They're In For

It was good enough to beat winless Miami. But Buffalo's performance in its 13-10 triumph over the hapless Dolphins won't be nearly good enough to stay within three touchdowns of the unbeaten Patriots this week.

And the Bills know it.

"With the way they've been playing, we can't have a performance like we did," wide receiver Josh Reed said after the Bills escaped South Florida with a 5-4 record heading into their prime-time showdown with the history-chasing Patriots at Ralph Wilson Stadium. "We played them before, things obviously didn't go the way we wanted them to (in a 38-7 loss at New England), but we're on a four-game winning streak and we're a different team now."

Incredibly, after a 1-4 start and with 10 players on the season-ending injured reserve list, the Bills have won four straight since their bye week when coach Dick Jauron told his team to focus on an 11-game season, and, "to win them all."

So far the Bills have, but Miami pushed them to the limit before Rian Lindell kicked a 34-yard field goal with 46 seconds to go to rescue the victory.

Most worrisome for the Bills was an inconsistent performance by quarterback J.P. Losman, just when it looked like he was going to grab a hold of the starting job for the rest of the season. Losman misfired on his first five passes and didn't have a completion, or a first down, until 5:42 remained in the first half.

"That didn't occur to me," Jauron said when asked if he thought about pulling Losman in favor of rookie Trent Edwards. "The game was kind of a struggle the whole time. He made some plays."

Losman made a couple of poor decisions including an end zone interception late in the first half that cost Buffalo at least a field goal opportunity in a game it was trailing 3-0 at that point.

Losman didn't get it together until the fourth quarter when he directed a 66-yard drive that ended with a Marshawn Lynch touchdown run and a Lynch two-point conversion that tied the game at 10-10. Losman then produced a shorter drive, thanks to Roscoe Parrish's 40-yard punt return, to set up Lindell's winning field goal.

"As bad as we played offensively, I think it's good that as a team we were still able to get a win," said wide receiver Lee Evans, who had a quiet four catches for 65 yards. "Late in the game, the offense came through, held the ball and put points on the board. We didn't play well all game, but when it counted we were able to get points on the board."

The Bills also struggled on defense as backup running back Jesse Chatman shredded them for 124 yards on the ground, and the Dolphins converted 9 of 19 third downs and possessed the ball for 37 minutes.

Again, when they needed to make plays, the Bills did. They stopped Miami's penultimate possession to get the ball back for the winning field goal, then following a botched squib kick that gave Miami the ball at its own 45 with 41 seconds to go, the defense held on downs forcing Lemon into three straight incompletions.

"Hey, earlier in the year we lost some of those games," said strong safety Donte Whitner. "I don't care if they look good, I just want to win. When you look at the record it's going to say 5-4, it's not going to say how we won it, what we did, how many yards they rushed or passed for. There's no ugly wins in the NFL. I don't care if you win by 1 or 40, there's no ugly wins because wins are so hard to come by in this league."


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