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Bills amped for meaningful football in Week 17


It hasn't happened since 2004. A Week 17 game for the Bills with a potential playoff berth on the line. For players on Buffalo's roster that have waited quite some time for such a scenario, there is undoubtedly extra energy in the locker room.

"We're fired up," said nine-year vet Eric Wood. "This is a playoff game for us essentially. We have to win it. It's exciting. First Week 17 that I've been a part of here that we've had something on the line. We've got to go down to Miami, a tough place to play and go get a win first."

No one on Buffalo's roster has been waiting as long as 12-year veteran Kyle Williams. As usual the defensive tackle was focused on the job, not how it might impact him.

"It's not about me, it's really not," Williams said. "It's about our football team. It's about the whole group. The way that they work. The way that they prepare. Being paid off for what they've paid in. All the things that they've done. There's a collective here, and nobody's in front of the team, and nobody's bigger than the football team."

Head coach Sean McDermott's overriding mantra this season was to do everything 'Playoff Caliber.' The first step was getting to a point where they had games that mattered in December. Too often the Bills have simply been playing out the string. Sunday their season finale is a must-win situation for their playoff aspirations along with either a Baltimore loss or a Chargers and Titans loss.

"December vibe man," said LeSean McCoy. "Everybody is dialed in. Our team meeting, we talked as a group and everybody is dialed in and ready to go. It's a must-win situation. Everybody has put everything on the line and everybody knows the situation. I think you'll see a team come out playing fast, playing hard."

"As a competitor it's a great opportunity for us to rise to the occasion as a team, individually. Meaningful football in December and especially the last week of the season to basically take us into the playoffs," said Tyrod Taylor. "It boils down to us executing and that means going out there and playing our best game. I'm excited of the opportunity as well as all the guys in the locker room are excited as well as the coaches. We're taking it day by day until we play out on the field."

Richie Incognito is only in his third season with the Bills, but he's never been on a team with a winning record in his 11 NFL seasons.

"A chance for me to go to the playoffs for the first time. A chance for me to be on a 9-7 team for the first time. It's exciting," Incognito said. "I'm trying to pull as many young guys together as I can to get them to buy in and go out there and be physical and have the right mindset.

"It's special and being this close. Being able to taste it, waking up. It's got a different feeling, it really does at this point in the season. It's exciting and I hope the guys stay in the moment and I hope the guys embrace it and show up on Sunday and let it all hang out and play our best football of the season."

The Bills have alternated wins and losses in each of their last five trips to Miami. The last trip in 2016 was a 28-25 loss, but things are much different now. Last season, the Dolphins were making a push for the playoffs and qualified. Now it's Buffalo hoping to pair a victory with some AFC assistance.

"Guys are excited and guys are amped up for this weekend," said Jordan Poyer. "It's something that these fans have been waiting for, for a long time. Hopefully things work out in our favor. Right now, we're just focused on preparing and being able to play our best football on Sunday."

Check out photos of the Bills as they prepare to take on the Miami Dolphins in Week 17.

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