Sammy Watkins has been in Buffalo less than a year and is already tired of all the talk about the Bills' 14-season playoff drought.
“That's the stigma with Buffalo,” Watkins said. “That's all you hear. They never talk about the four Super Bowls that they went to. All you hear about is the 14 years that they didn't go to the playoffs. It's bad and we know that as a team and an organization. We're going to fix it.”
It won't be easy. The Bills (8-6) likely need to win their final two games starting today at O.co Coliseum against the Raiders (2-12) and then get lots of help.
Because of tiebreaking formulas, Buffalo ranks ninth out of the conference's nine teams with eight or more wins. Even with a win in Oakland, the Bills could be eliminated this week if Pittsburgh and Baltimore both win today and Cincinnati defeats Denver at home Monday night.
But even being in contention this late in the season is an accomplishment for a team that has not made the postseason since 1999 and not finished with a winning record since 2004.
This marks the first time since 2006 that the Bills are still alive heading into Week 16. They squandered a fourth-quarter lead in a 30-29 loss to Tennessee that year and missed the playoffs.
They want to avoid a similar fate this week.
“We know the situation that we're in right now,” cornerback Corey Graham said. “Pretty much if we don't win the game, we don't give ourselves a chance. It's pretty simple. You can't have a letdown when it's a must win for you.”
Oakland has the second-longest active postseason drought in the NFL, this being the 12th straight season without a playoff bid.
The Raiders are relegated to the role of spoiler, something they have done well at home the past few weeks. Oakland dealt a blow to Kansas City's playoff hopes with a 24-20 win last month and helped lead to San Francisco missing out on the postseason with a 24-13 victory two weeks ago.
Now the Raiders want to do it to Buffalo.
“It's the last opportunity to play at home in front of our fans right now,” interim coach Tony Sparano said. “We want to go out there, we want to play well. We want to win a football game against a good team out here.”