The Buffalo Bills are stuck in neutral.
A year after going 8-8, the team is on the exact same pace through the first half of 2016. Sunday's 41-25 loss to the New England Patriots at New Era Field was shockingly easy to predict -- which makes it so troubling. Forget beating the Patriots -- that's not happening until Tom Brady finally retires -- the Bills don't appear any closer at all to ending a 16-year playoff drought.
They are an average team, with an average record, average coach and average players.
Here's a look at whose stock is rising and whose is falling after Sunday's game:
Mike Gillislee -- Filling in for LeSean McCoy, Gillislee carried 12 times for 85 yards and a touchdown. He ripped off a 28-yard rush on the Bills' opening possession and generally looked capable of handling more carries. He only got three after halftime, however, as the Bills fell behind by three possessions and were forced to throw.
Marcell Dareus -- He had a sack and a tackle for loss in playing 42 defensive snaps -- 61 percent of the team's total. That's a bigger workload that might have been expected and a good sign going forward. Dareus' presence in the middle was a boost for the Bills' run defense.
Jonathan Williams -- The rookie scored his first career touchdown in garbage time. He deserves to get a longer look behind Gillislee if LeSean McCoy is still out in Week Nine.
Charles Clay -- How does this guy not take way more heat? Clay gets paid like Rob Gronkowski, but isn't even in the same universe when it comes to production. With the Bills down about 130 wide receivers, their big-money tight end stepped up with ... two catches for 6 yards. Honestly, who cares about his blocking? The reason he makes $9 million a year is he's supposed to be a weapon in the passing game. Sunday, he wasn't even close to that. About the only thing you can depend on when it comes to Charles Clay is he'll appear on the weekly injury report.
Stephon Gilmore -- For a guy who wants to get paid like an elite cornerback in the NFL, which means more than $10 million a year, Gilmore isn't playing like that. He has been absolutely dreadful far too often this season. Maybe his contract status is getting in his head. Whatever the case may be, he's costing himself money with each passing week of subpar performances.
Reggie Bush -- Maybe the Bills will keep him around to play wide receiver with how many injuries they have at the position, but under no circumstances should they hand the ball off to him again. In nine carries this season, Bush has a total of minus-2 yards. Seriously.