Next three games hold Buffalo's fate

The Bills have six games remaining, but the next three are likely to determine their playoff fate, regardless of what happens in the final three.

Beginning with Sunday's game at New York against the Jets, Buffalo will meet its three AFC East rivals in successive weeks. It's a division in which only one game separates all four teams.

"It's an important time of the year for us right now," said Bills head coach Gregg Williams. "Because they're division games obviously counts a little bit more. To start off with three division games is the highlight of our year right now."

New York has just two division games remaining, and the final one isn't until Dec. 22. Still, said Jets head coach Herman Edwards, "Every game you win now is very important. Obviously, they're a good team with a 5-5 record."

That 5-5 record might be just a .500 percentage, but it's in the thick of the AFC races. The Jets, Bills and New England Patriots all are 5-5, but just one game behind the first-place Miami Dolphins (6-4).

"It is anybody's division right now," said Jets quarterback Chad Pennington. "That's the beauty of the NFL, because there's so much parity. We can't get complacent because we have a three-game winning streak. We've got to realize every game is like a playoff game."

That's especially true of the Bills, who at this point have a playoff tiebreaker advantage over just Miami.

The Bills enter this critical stretch of their season with just a 1-2 division record, with losses to New York and New England. Buffalo also is just 2-5 in conference games -- the worst record of any AFC contender. In addition, the Bills have head-to-head losses against Denver, Kansas City and Oakland, against whom they could be competing for wild-card playoff berths.

Because Buffalo is at so many tiebreaker disadvantages that it has to win to gain a superior record and avoid tiebreakers.

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