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[BN] Blitz newsletter: Win over Dolphins strengthens playoff push

Buffalo remains in the playoff race as the finish line approaches. After defeating the Dolphins 24-16 on Sunday, the Bills are unexpectedly viable postseason contenders in late December. They are 8-6 for just the third time since the dawn of The Drought in 2000 and went 6-2 at New Era Field, the best home record since the 1999 playoff season.

But the Bills don't see themselves as surprise contenders. "In a dressing room that projected far more of a businesslike than giddy tone, they insisted that it was what they expected all along," Vic Carucci writes.

What to expect when you're expecting to make the playoffs: Nick Veronica handicaps the race after sorting through the tangled web of wild card tiebreakers. No matter what happens next week in New England, the Bills will stay in the playoff hunt until the last game of the season.

Jerry Sullivan: "With the Bills desperately needing a win to keep their playoff hopes alive, [Tyrod] Taylor played his finest game in more than a month."

Tim Graham: LeSean McCoy completed his 10K chase — and he knows who he ran over to reach the milestone.

Bucky Gleason: Kyle Williams gave an inspiring pregame speech before Sunday's win. Could it have been his swan song in Buffalo?

Vic Carucci's Take Five: The Bills checked most of the boxes.

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Catch up: Quarterly breakdown of the win: 1st / 2nd / 3rd / 4th

Photo Galleries: Game action from the lens of James P. McCoy. Smiles from the tailgate.

10 Plays That Shaped The Game: It started with the Buffalo scoring a touchdown on the opening drive for the first time this season.

Report Card: Bills earn high marks in home finale.

Matchup Winners: Miami's third-down hot streak couldn't last in the Buffalo winter.

Secondary effort: Jordan Poyer's pick got the ball rolling for the defensive backs.

Injuries: E.J. Gaines was carted off with a knee injury. Kelvin Benjamin played but said afterward he will need offseason surgery on his knee.

Watch: Our team's takeaway from New Era Field (which is already being transformed for the World Juniors). Related: Sean McDermott meets with the media.

What They Said: Transcripts of the conversations from both locker rooms.

On to New England: Five things to know about the Patriots.

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