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Bufalo Bills rout Jacksonville Jaguars, keep hopes alive

The Buffalo Bills are hanging on for dear life.


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Their fifth win of the season came easily in a 34-18 romp over the Jacksonville Jaguars, keeping their slim playoff hopes alive for another week.

When the Bills' defense applies pressure on the quarterback and shuts down the run, the result is a convincing win over a lesser opponent. Sunday's victory doesn't erase some very real weaknesses in Buffalo, but the Bills took advantage of a lost Jaguars squad with many more issues to ponder heading into 2013.

The Bills' postseason path only grows thornier if Stevie Johnson is lost for any significant amount of time. Buffalo's best receiver made his way to the locker room for evaluation after injuring his hamstring during the fourth quarter, the team announced.

With or without Stevie, the Bills' biggest problem is consistency. The pass rush is streaky when it isn't invisible. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick mixes sensational throws with too many drive-killing picks. Buffalo (5-7) has talent to burn at running back, but coach Chan Gailey's flirtation with naming C.J. Spiller his foundation back was short-lived. Spiller was effective Sunday -- 14 carries for 77 yards and a dazzling 44-yard score -- but it was Fred Jackson who received the majority of the work (109 yards on 25 carries).

That's Gailey's way: backfield by committee and mysterious moves that interrupt the rhythm of his skill players. Sometimes it works, but too often, the Bills are left on the outside looking in. That likely will be the case again this winter.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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