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Jacksonville a ‘must-win’ game for middle-of-the-pack Buffalo Bills

In this Sept. 25, 2016, file photo, Buffalo Bills defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman points to an Arizona Cardinals player during an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y.

Bill Wippert/AP

Some 13 months later, Nickell Robey-Coleman insists he didn't interfere with Jaguars receiver Bryan Walters. And the Bills cornerback's wish is that NFL referee Terry McAulay and his crew were officiating Buffalo's home game against Jacksonville on Sunday.

"That's the crew that made the terrible calls," Robey-Coleman told The Associated Press this week.

He's referring to what he, numerous teammates and coach Rex Ryan describe as being a "phantom" penalty on third-and-15 that extended Jacksonville's go-ahead drive in the final minutes of a 34-31 victory in London.

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"No, I haven't forgotten," Robey-Coleman said. "I'm just saying that in order to respond to that, I would like to have [McAulay's crew] again and show them we're just better. Period."

He won't get his wish, because McAulay is scheduled to work the Monday night game between Green Bay and Philadelphia.

The Bills (5-5), however, get another shot at beating the Jaguars (2-8), a team that once again is experiencing difficulties with consistency and staying relevant.

"This is a must-win game, and this is a team that we're supposed to beat," Robey-Coleman said.

Having snapped a three-game skid with a 16-12 win at Cincinnati last weekend, the Bills have little room for error in their quest to end a 16-year playoff drought – the NFL's longest active streak.

Buffalo needs to overcome a banged-up offence that should get Sammy Watkins back from a left foot injury that sidelined him in September. Fellow receiver Robert Woods (left knee) and starting centre Eric Wood (broken right leg) are out. Running back LeSean McCoy is expected to play this week having recovered from surgery to repair a dislocated left thumb.

The defence is getting healthier with tackle Marcell Dareus (NFL suspension, hamstring, groin) creating havoc against the Bengals in only his second game of the season. Though Buffalo's defence has been susceptible to long passes – including seven 50 yards or longer – this season, the defence is tied for the NFL lead with 31 sacks, and has held five opponents to under 310 yards of offence.

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Buffalo faces a mistake-prone Jaguars offence that leads the NFL with 22 giveaways, including 13 interceptions by Blake Bortles, and has topped 24 points just once this season.

In last week's 26-19 loss at Detroit, Jacksonville combined for 8 yards of net offence on its final three drives. Worse still, defensive lineman Sen'Derrick Marks jumped offside on fourth-and-two, allowing the Lions to run off 2:08 of the final 2:34 of game time in Jacksonville's fifth straight loss.

This isn't considered progress for a third-year player such as Bortles, who has 64 touchdowns versus 48 interceptions, or the Jaguars, who haven't won more than five games since 2010.

"It seems to get harder and harder each time you lose. It's difficult, but there's nothing you can do about it," Bortles said. "It's not time to fold up camp and get ready for next year. I look at it like we get a chance to go 8-8, so let's go do that."

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