The Kansas City Chiefs could be streaking their way toward history.
They can continue their impressive run with a fifth consecutive victory Sunday when they face a visiting Buffalo Bills team that's also trying to remain a serious playoff contender.
Kansas City (5-5) has yet to lose since the five-game skid that appeared to end its season before it really started. And even a season-ending knee injury to star running back Jamaal Charles in Week 5 couldn't keep the Chiefs from regrouping and successfully pressing on.
Not only have the Chiefs clawed their way back to .500, they own the final wild-card spot in the AFC.
''I'm proud of the guys for the character they have," coach Andy Reid said. ''Very easily could have gone the other way. Coaches and players, for that matter. And they didn't do that. They played their hearts out. And they'll continue to do that because that's the way they're wired.''
Kansas City can join the 1970 Cincinnati Bengals as the only teams to make the playoffs after starting 1-5. None of its final six opponents have winning records and four of those games will be at home.
"You know, 5-5 obviously is not the goal,'' safety Eric Berry said, ''but we have our goals set and we know what mission we're on, so we're going to keep striving for that."
Kansas City has shined on both sides of the ball, outscoring its opponents 130-39 during the four-game winning streak.
''They have the right nucleus and they're good at what they do,'' San Diego cornerback and ex-Chief Brandon Flowers said. ''They don't do a lot of stuff, but they are perfect at what they do well.''
Kansas City has allowed an average of 12.2 points in the last six games after giving up 31.3 in the first four. In last Sunday's 33-3 rout of reeling San Diego, the Chiefs allowed fewer than 300 total yards for a third straight game with a season-low 201. They also scored a defensive touchdown.
Alex Smith has not thrown an interception in a franchise-record 253 pass attempts and third-stringer Spencer Ware ran for 96 yards and two TDs on 11 carries while starter Charcandrick West dealt with a hamstring injury against the Chargers. Ware, who before last Sunday ran six times for 24 yards this season, is likely to get a bulk of the work this weekend if West is unable to play.
''We're focusing. We're not waiting for somebody else to make the play," defensive tackle Dontari Poe said. "We're just putting it all on ourselves to make it.
''As long as we keep doing that and playing together, we'll be all right.''
Like Kansas City, Buffalo is among five AFC teams at 5-5, but is behind the Chiefs and Houston in the standings because those two have better records within the conference.
"We still got a whole season," linebacker Nigel Bradham told the Bills' official website. "We're still in the hunt."
The Bills' bid for a third consecutive victory ended with Monday's 20-13 loss at New England. Though Buffalo has held its last three opponents to 20 or fewer points, it scored 14 or less for the third time.
"We have to put more points on the board; start executing," running back LeSean McCoy said.
McCoy has averaged 126.3 total yards and scored twice in the last four games, but Kansas City has held its last three opponents to 202 rushing yards and 3.7 per carry. The Chiefs have allowed only one running back to score in any fashion over the last five contests.
Buffalo expects Tyrod Taylor to be under center despite hurting his shoulder against the Patriots. The Bills are 5-3 with Taylor, who has 11 TDs, four interceptions and a 100.9 passer rating. They are 0-2 when backup EJ Manuel starts in 2015.
''We'll see how the week progresses,'' coach Rex Ryan said. ''But I think (Taylor) will be ready to roll.''
Ryan is less certain about the status of defensive end Mario Williams (foot), who is tied for the team lead with three sacks. Both right guard John Miller (high left ankle sprain) and backup receiver Marcus Easley (concussion) have already been ruled out for this contest.
"We move on to Kansas City ... and we go on from there," Buffalo receiver Chris Hogan said.
Smith's 8-yard TD run in the fourth quarter helped the Chiefs to their second consecutive victory over the Bills, 17-13 on Nov. 9 of last year.