The Bills are limping into their bye week battered, beaten and losing ground in the AFC East. There won't be any tough-talking toward the undefeated New England Patriots right now, anyway.
This injured team needs to get healthy and regain its confidence after a heartbreaking 34-31 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in London.
Because right now, New England, New York and Miami are all on the upswing.
Let's check in on the three other teams in the division.
New England Patriots (6-0): What Deflategate? Life is good in Foxborough yet again. The defending champions haven't been beaten and Tom Brady is on a torrid MVP pace with 2,054 yards, 16 touchdowns and only one interception. This should scare Bills fans --- the guy is 38 years old and playing better than ever. Brady wants to play another 10 years and, at this rate, who's going to doubt him? Tight end Rob Gronkowski is Gronkin' along, on pace for 1,400 yards and 16 touchdowns. Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Dion Lewis are all dangerous in their own right. Double Gronk and you'll have one-on-one issues elsewhere. The run game? Last week, running backs had a combined five carries. But when New England wants to pound defenses with the run, it can. Bruising 250-pounder LeGarrette Blount beat up Jacksonville, Dallas and Indianapolis for 245 yards and four touchdowns. Defensively, Bill Belichick remains more resourceful than any coach in the NFL. They lost more starters over the off-season but haven't missed a beat.
New York Jets (4-2): Todd Bowles' defense in New York is out-playing Rex Ryan's defense in Buffalo in just about every category. The Jets are giving up 283.2 yards per game, second-best in the NFL. Opposing quarterbacks have a miserable 68.5 passer rating against New York, also second-best in the NFL (even after facing Brady last week). The 54.8 completion percentage by opposing QB's is the lowest in the league. The Jets, like Buffalo, paid up for players over the off-season but their signings have worked out better so far. For more on that, check out Greg Bishop's piece in Sports Illustrated on how seven players worth $200 million are helping to turn New York around. Darrelle Revis is still a shutdown cornerback. Brandon Marshall (41-578-4) remains a true No. 1 receiver at 31 years old. Ryan Fitzpatrick --- remember him? --- started strong, struggled in a loss to Philadelphia but has since steadied. He can make all the NFL throws and the interceptions haven't gotten too out of control yet. He's on pace for 3,900 yards and 29 touchdowns. Let's wait and see what becomes of Tyrod Taylor, of course. He has been dazzling at times when healthy. But the case can certainly be made that the Bills would've been better off with Fitzpatrick (or is it "Fitzmagic?") all along.
Miami Dolphins (3-3): The left-for-dead Dolphins are fresh off 38-10 and 44-26 shellackings of the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans. In the latter, they led 41-0 at halftime. Unbelievable considering the state of affairs when the Bills visited just a few weeks ago. Interim head coach Dan Campbell has instantly turned this team around. They're absolutely a playoff contender again with talent on both sides of the ball. This Thursday night game at New England will be telling, but give Campbell credit for turning back to the ground game. Forgotten in Miami's offense through September, Lamar Miller has rushed for 113 and 175 yards in the back-to-back wins. Few backs get from 0-to-60 quite like Miller. And once he's rolling like this, once he gets a defense tilted on its heels, quarterback Ryan Tannehill is very effective throwing out of the read option. He had a perfect passer rating against Houston in completing 18 of 19 passes for 282 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. The best news for Miami? Its $114 Million Dollar Man, Ndamukong Suh, is starting to live up to the hype. The Texans mustered only two yards per carry in the first half with Suh anchoring the line. Suh had his first two sacks of the season, three QB hurries and three other tackles for loss.
Here's the obligatory reminder: The NFL season is a marathon. Teams rise and fall and rise and fall by the week.
But as the Bills rest up --- coach Rex Ryan gave his entire the team the bye week off --- it's clear the three other teams in the AFC East are trending in the complete opposite direction.