By Tim Graham
The NFL already has relegated the Buffalo Bills to the spoiler role. Not even the most faithful fan can dispute that notion with much vigor.
The Bills have dropped four of their past five games and already have five losses this year.
Running back Fred Jackson knows the Bills might need to darn near run the table to reach the postseason, starting with Sunday's game against the New England Patriots in Gillette Stadium. The Patriots are 11-point favorites.
"For us to get to where we want to be, this is a must-win for us," Jackson said. "We get a great chance to go into a place that we haven't won in a long time and get this thing turned around. That's a huge focus for us.
"We can't lose any more games and expect to do things that we want to get done. Everybody's focused on that. We know it's going to be a huge test for us, but we feel like we can play with these guys. We've just got to finish games."
Since the NFL realigned in 2002, no AFC team has gone to the playoffs with more than seven losses -- and 9-7 has been far from a guarantee. Several 9-7 teams have failed to get into the tournament because of a tiebreaker.
The 2008 Patriots didn't get in despite an 11-5 record. The 2007 Cleveland Browns didn't make it at 10-6.
The last AFC team to not win its division yet make the playoffs with more than seven losses was the 1991 New York Jets with an 8-8 record.