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Bills defend their dirt, set best home record of The Drought

Bills players have a literal jar of dirt in their lockers to remind them of one of coach Sean McDermott's favorite slogans: Defend our dirt.

That message is emblazoned on the walls in the Bills' locker room to remind them of the importance of winning home games.

It's hard to say whether the dirt specifically contributed to the Bills' improved performance at home this season, but they did set a mark for the team's best home record over the playoff drought by going 6-2 at New Era Field.

Translation: The last time the Bills won six home games, they made the playoffs. They reached that mark in 1998 and 1999, both of which were playoff seasons.

“Huge thank you to our fans all season long," coach Sean McDermott said after their 24-16 victory against the Dolphins in the home finale. "We have a 6-2 record at home and Buffalo is a special place to play. ... We know how important winning at home is. It was defending our dirt, as our guys say. I can't say enough about the effort our fans put forth all year to get out here and support."

What Bills need to make playoffs if they lose to Patriots and beat Dolphins

It should be noted that the Bills had a fairly easy home schedule this year. None of the teams they beat at home can finish with a winning record. The Dolphins and Raiders (6-8) are the best among the group. The Bills' two home losses were against the Saints (10-4) and Patriots (11-3).

Here is the Bills home record in every other year over their 17-year playoff drought:

2016: 4-4
2015: 5-3
2014: 5-3
2013: 4-4
2012: 4-4
2011: 5-3
2010: 2-6
2009: 3-5
2008: 3-5
2007: 4-4
2006: 4-4
2005: 4-4
2004: 5-3
2003: 4-4
2002: 5-3
2001: 1-7
2000: 5-3

McDermott on 6-2 home record: Buffalo is a 'special place' to play

'Defend our Dirt' more than a slogan to Bills' players

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