ORCHARD PARK - In order for the Buffalo Bills (5-7) to have any chance of making the playoffs, they will have to win the rest of their games, while also needing a host of other teams (Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets) to lose.
Chances are, folks, the Bills will be watching football in January for the 13th straight season, but that doesn't mean head coach Chan Gailey will stop pushing his guys to win.
"Well you want to win out just because you are a competitor and you want to win," Gailey said. "If you start talking about winning out We have to win one more. We have to win two in a row before we can ever win three, four or five. So yeah, it would be great."
If the Bills win this week against St. Lous (5-6-1), quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick admitted that he and his teammates may check the scoreboard to see if they received any help.
"You have to," Fitzpatrick said of checking on scores from around the league. "But last week was not a good week in terms of looking up and seeing Cincinnati behind, Indianapolis behind and Pittsburgh behind and all of them pulling out wins. But naturally that is something, as a player, that you have to do. But for us, none of that matters if we do not win this game."
According to Fitzpatrick, last week's 34-18 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10) was another sign of what he things the Bills are capable of.
"There just needs to be a run here of consistently being able to put it together," Fitzpatrick added. "All three phases and multiple games in a row. That is something that we are looking forward to trying to do."
If the Bills beat the Rams this week, it will mark the first time they have won two games in a row this season since they beat Kansas City (2-10) and Cleveland (4-8) Week 2 and Week 3, respectively. For them to win their remaining four games and finish the season on a five-game win streak may take a minor - or several minor - miracles. But that doesn't mean anyone on the Bills is thinking that they can't win out.
"That is our plan, our goal and what we want to do," Gailey said of winning out. "But we have to try to win this one. Take it one game at a time. I hate using that cliche, but it is what it is."
In order for the Bills get their sixth win of the season, the defense will have to keep playing as well as it has since their Week 11 win over the Miami Dolphins (5-7). Since that performance in prime time, the Bills' defense has allowed just three touchdowns, and Gailey has pointed to one major reason for it.
"I think I have said it in here a lot of times that the consistency of people being where they are supposed to be has increased dramatically," Gailey said. "It is a trust factor amongst our defensive players that if I will take my gap and that other guy will take his gap, we will stop the run.
"I think the other thing that gets overlooked sometimes is I think our safeties are doing a really good job of supporting the run as well," Gailey continued. "We have had all three of them come up and make big plays in games to help stop running plays. So that is just another trust factor. Everybody else is playing their gap and that is their gap. They are making the play. All of that ties together to create a good run defense. We will need it this week. We will need that run defense this week."
The main reason the Bills will need a stout run-stopping defensive effort is two fold - the weather and the Rams' veteran running back Steven Jackson, who is probable for today's game after nursing a foot injury this week.
"You cannot let him get started," Gailey said. "You let him get motoring and get passed the line of scrimmage you are in for a long day. He is a big, powerful, fast man. You have to bottle him up and try to keep him within a couple yards of the line of scrimmage. You let him break too many and you will be in trouble for the whole day if you do that."