Monday, July 28, 2014

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The importance of the final five

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Ryan Fitzpatrick put on a serious face when asked where his team goes from here.

"We're focused on these last five games," he told the media Wednesday. "I think that's the most important thing."

At 4-7, what do the season's final five games mean to the future of the Ryan Fitzpatrick-Chan Gailey tandem? Together, they're 14-26 and facing the third straight year of playing meaningless games in late November.

"I just told him to keep working and keep doing the things that he had been successful at in times past the last couple of years," Chan Gailey said of his quarterback. "Just keep getting better. That is our only choice."

"We did not expect or want to be where we are right now," added Fitzpatrick. "I feel like unfortunately there have been some games where we have not shown where we thought we would be or where we should be."

Where they should be is obviously better than three games below 500. After an offseason of heavy spending, the onfield payoff has been light. And the team has only five games to convince management that it's still heading in the right direction.

"Everybody in this locker room is a competitor," said Fred Jackson. "We're going to go out, continue to play and continue to fight because that's just what we do. That's the type of character these guys have."

"It's very important for us, in these next five games to the progress that we think we've made in the last few years," Fitzpatrick continued. "There has been progress. We are much better. We've got to be able to go out there and do it and show it on the field."

And so Sunday's game will feature two teams that are battling for the future. Stop me if you've heard that one before. The Bills, at 4-7, will be seeking some consistency when they face the Jaguars (2-7) led by Mike Mularkey. As of Wednesday morning, approximately 15 thousand seats remained unsold, likely leading to the first blackout of the year.

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