The Bills' running game has been bottled up through the first quarter of the season, marking a sharp decline after consecutive years of leading the league in both yards per game and yards per attempt. While there are a handful of factors for the sudden dropoff, the players seem to think they're close to a breakthrough.
"We were really close last week, and we weren't as close against Carolina and Denver," center Eric Wood said. "Last week, we had a couple of penalties that called back big runs, one of which was my hold. And then there were four or five other plays that we might have got eight or so on that were like inches away from either the safety barely trips up Shady, we barely miss a backside block. It allowed it to be a nice gain, but the home runs that caused us to be No. 1 in the league the last couple of years, we're getting closer to those."
Are the Bills good? Feels like everyone's been asking that question this week. They're one pass from being 4-0, but it might actually be more impressive to see them finally, for once, just beat a team they're supposed to beat this week. Tim Graham and Jay Skurski batted this question back and forth here. "If the Bills could be poured into a pint glass, then I would drink them," Graham said. "That's how satisfying they've been."
Mailbag: So, if the Bills are good, should they try to trade a draft pick for a wide receiver or linebacker?
Injury report: Jordan Matthews and Ramon Humber were both ruled out with thumb injuries.
Sammy Watkins regrets demanding targets: Remember when that happened? Two years ago, Watkins said he had his agent talk to the team about getting the ball more and demanded 10 targets a game. He now regrets doing that, saying it was a selfish thing to do.
X's and O's: Mark Gaughan highlights a favorite Bengals play: the deep post to A.J. Green.
Matchup watch: Can John Miller handle Geno Atkins? Mark Gaughan breaks down the Bills-Bengals matchups to watch.
Rankings, awards: Vic Carucci put that Bills all the way up to No. 6 in his power rankings after their win at Atlanta. In his quarter-of-the-way NFL awards, Tom Brady gets the MVP while Tre'Davious White takes Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Is Tyrod Taylor a top-10 quarterback? He's up to No. 8 on NFL.com QB Index.
Advanced Stats: The Bills' biggest advantage (and disadvantage) vs. the Bengals.
Steven Hauschka: Good at the kicking.
Fantasy advice: Should you sit Ben Roethlisberger this week?
Milano's athletic profile: Matt Milano will start at linebacker this week for Humber. What player is he most similar to athletically?
Bills trivia: I actually got this one. Who led the team in passing in 2001?
Staff selections, Week Five: Milt Northrop, last year's winner, picked the Bengals as his best bet.
Bills-Bengals forecast: It's going to be a muggy one.
What they said: Hear from Sean McDermott in his Friday news briefing. He only said "process" once.
Podcast: Is this a trap game for the Bills? Don't get crazy.