With the bye week behind them and nine games remaining the Buffalo Bills need to face each one like they are in the playoffs, meaning they can’t afford to lose. With a 3 and 4 record the Bills realistically need to win at least seven of the remaining nine games. A 9-7 record has gotten teams a wildcard berth, but 10-6 is more likely. Either way, winning seven of nine will be no easy task for this team which has under-performed since week two.

To win seven more games the Bills will obviously need Tyrod Taylor back under center and Sammy Watkins in the starting line-up. Not to mention Karlos Williams, Seantrel Henderson and John Miller.

Taylor’s issue is two fold in that he has both a knee and an ankle on the mend. Those type of injuries do not become 100% after just a couple weeks. Still I would expect Taylor however to be in the lineup against Miami at home this Sunday.

Rex Ryan raised some eyebrows among veteran Bills followers by giving the team the entire week off after the Jacksonville loss. Traditionally the Bills have practiced at least three days and then were given a four day weekend. Most coaches use the bye week to tweak areas where teams are lacking or introduce a new wrinkle or two for the remainder of the season, not Rex Ryan.

One might have thought Ryan would use the off-time to install some of the features defensively that made the front four a feared unit. It’s now obvious Ryan’s 3-4 hybrid does not suit the talents of the Bills upfront and a normal practice week in this new NFL does not allow the time to install changes. Instead, Ryan chose to rest his players so time will tell if that was the right move.

Rex Ryan is an interesting and entertaining coach. Ryan’s daily media sessions are funny and make for great copy for the newspaper boys, but his team at times looks poorly coached and undisciplined. Known to be a defensive specialist, Ryan’s schemes in key situations have looked less then special.

Except for Andrew Luck, the marquee quarterbacks the Bills have faced have carved them up. More than once Ryan has chosen to sit back in coverage when pressure would have been the better call and he has admitted as much.

The key to have any chance of making the playoffs will be the three consecutive road games this month. The Bills will be at the Jets on a Thursday night, the Patriots 11 days later on a Monday and in Kansas City on a short week the last Sunday of the month. Should this team lose two of those gamesĀ  they would probably have to run the table and win the remaining five. That will be a very tough task for this injury prone team.


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