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Again, it has come to this: Bills have only pride to play for

By Tim Graham

TORONTO -- The Buffalo Bills gave up as many points as you would expect a Canadian Football League team to surrender against any NFL team.

The Seattle Seahawks on Sunday afternoon detonated the Bills, 50-17, in the Rogers Centre. The Bills became the first team since the 1986 New York Jets to allow at least 45 points in four games.

What's more, the loss officially eliminated the Bills from the postseason race for a 13th straight season and guaranteed the Bills their 10th losing record over their past 12 seasons.

The only things left to play for are stats and pride -- and jobs.

"What kind of man are you?" Bills receiver Stevie Johnson said. "At the end of the day, whether there's playoffs or no playoffs, what kind of man are you? Do you play the game for the money or do you play this game for the competition, for the love of it? We'll see what happens these next couple weeks."

Bills fans also await word from Mount Wilson about the future of Bills coach Chan Gailey.

Before Sunday's game, my sense was that Gailey probably would be back for 2013, but nothing was guaranteed. The last three games still mattered.

A lopsided loss to Seattle -- with dazzling performances by a rookie quarterback Buffalo declined to draft and a running back Buffalo gave away for almost nothing -- puts everyone's future in doubt.

The decision may come down to the taste left in the mouths of owner Ralph Wilson and General Manager Buddy Nix in two weeks.

If the Bills can win one or two of their final games -- against the Miami Dolphins this week and the New York Jets in the regular-season finale -- then the front office likely can justify bringing Gailey back. A pair of victories would make the Bills 3-3 in the AFC East, tangible progress.

But if the Bills go through the motions like they did in Toronto, then Gailey could be doomed regardless of how badly Nix wants to retain him.

"I obviously don't feel great about the way that we played, but especially for a guy that has given so many guys in the locker room opportunities," Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said of Gailey. "More so than anybody, it pains me to not go out there, throw 10 touchdowns every time and win every game, especially to lose like we did today and the fact that my performance and our performance on offense, our performance on defense.

"We played poorly and it reflects poorly on him. It just eats me up. I know it eats other guys up as well."

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | tgraham@buffnews.com


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | mgaughan@buffnews.com


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | jskurski@buffnews.com

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