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Hello from Orchard Park, N.Y.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Welcome to a scaled-down Sunday in the AFC East.

With the New England Patriots and New York Jets playing Thursday, only the bottom two AFC East clubs remain on the schedule. I'm covering the Pittsburgh Steelers versus Buffalo Bills in Ralph Wilson Stadium at 1 p.m. The Miami Dolphins will play the Oakland Raiders in the Black Hole at 4:05 p.m.

The weather in Western New York is bleak: gray and cold and gusty. The forecast for kickoff is 35 degrees with 13 mph winds. But at least we're not supposed to have snow or freezing rain.

Dolfans should root for a Bills victory. If the Dolphins are to have any shot at the playoffs, then one of the AFC North teams must plummet in the standings. The Steelers are tied with the Baltimore Ravens at 7-3.

It would appear one of those teams is destined for one of the two wild-card berths along with whoever finishes second between the Jets and Patriots.

It's only Week 12, but the 5-5 Dolphins already need a lot of help to stay alive.