Sports

Dolphins need win over nemesis Buffalo to stay in playoff contention

  • Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) is sacked by Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (94) during the first half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

    Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) is sacked by Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (94) during the first half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)  (The Associated Press)

  • Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace (11) outruns Detroit Lions outside linebacker Ashlee Palmer (58) for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

    Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace (11) outruns Detroit Lions outside linebacker Ashlee Palmer (58) for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)  (The Associated Press)

  • Miami Dolphins tight end Charles Clay (42) watches from the bench in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014. Detroit won 20-16. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

    Miami Dolphins tight end Charles Clay (42) watches from the bench in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014. Detroit won 20-16. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)  (The Associated Press)

If the Miami Dolphins want to start looking like a playoff team, they might want to show they can beat the Buffalo Bills.

The Dolphins have lost to their AFC East rivals three times in a row, and need to end that streak Thursday night to avoid falling far back in the playoff race.

A last-minute loss Sunday at Detroit left the Dolphins (5-4) with little margin for further missteps. Ten teams are seeded ahead of them in the race for six AFC playoff spots, including the Bills (5-4), who beat Miami 29-10 in Week 2.

With 11 teams in the conference above .500, at least 10 victories will likely be required to make the playoffs. That means the Dolphins would need to win five of their remaining seven games.

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL

___

Follow Steven Wine on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Steve_Wine