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BIG WIN ON ROAD KEEPS PLAYOFF HOPES IN THE FAST LANE

The Buffalo Bills are still right in the middle of the playoff fight in the American Football Conference.

The Bills won a huge game with the Arizona Cardinals, taking a 31-21 decision in Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday night. Buffalo improved its record to 9-5, which puts it in a tie with Miami after 14 of 16 games, fifth in the AFC with two games remaining.

The Tennessee Titans (11-3) Sunday clinched one of the AFC's three wild-card spots. Miami and Buffalo are 9-5, while Seattle is 8-6 and New England, Baltimore and Oakland are 7-7.

The Indianapolis Colts (12-2) clinched the AFC East Sunday with a win over Washington.

The Bills looked as if they were in control of this game from the start. Doug Flutie threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Eric Moulds, and Jonathan Linton scored on a 6-yard run to put Buffalo up, 14-0, before the end of the first quarter. But Arizona came back on a pair of short runs by Mario Bates to tie the score at halftime.

Steve Christie put Buffalo ahead for good with a third-quarter field goal, and then the fun began in the final few minutes. Jay Riemersma added some insurance with a 4-yard touchdown off a pass from Flutie with three minutes left. Arizona countered a minute later with a touchdown pass from Jake Plummer to Rob Moore.

The Cardinals tried an onside kick, but Henry Jones scooped it up and ran 37 yards for a touchdown.

Flutie finished 21 of 32 for 239 yards with two interceptions to go with his two touchdowns. Seven receivers caught passes, led by Moulds' six catches.

Buffalo's defense had a solid performance. Arizona quarterback Plummer was only 11 of 29 passing for 119 yards. The Cardinals finished with only 178 yards in total offense, and had the ball for less than 21 minutes.

The Bills need two wins to guarantee themselves a playoff berth, although that number could be reduced depending on what happens in other games.

Buffalo will play the Patriots in New England next Sunday, and the Bills will finish the season the following week against the Indianapolis Colts in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

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