Six short weeks ago the Buffalo Bills were 4-1 and the talk of the NFL. Their stunning start to the season — punctuated by a 34-31 come-from-behind win against New England — was one of several early storylines featuring recently-wretched teams returning to relevance.
But the Bills have gone just 1-4 since and now find themselves two games behind the Patriots in the AFC East standings, one game out of the final wild card playoff spot and fading fast.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick’s play has dropped off dramatically as Buffalo’s offense has managed just 26 points combined during their three-game losing streak — this after they scored at least 34 points in three straight to start the year.
Running back Fred Jackson has been the one constant source of production through it all, but on Wednesday the Bills ruled him out of their key division matchup with the New York Jets.
Bills coach Chan Gailey said the calf injury Jackson sustained in last week’s loss to the Dolphins will keep him out of Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium.
Jackson is third in the NFL in rushing with 934 yards and fifth among running backs with 442 receiving yards on 39 receptions. He has six touchdowns on the season and six 100-yard games.
Earlier this week the Bills placed cornerback Terrence McGee and wide receiver Donald Jones on season-ending injured reserve.