The sputtering Buffalo Bills are 3-4 heading into the bye.
Here are three things Buffalo should aim to accomplish during its time off:
1. Fix the defense
This is the biggest and most immediate priority for the Bills. They need to fix their defense ASAP to have a chance at righting the ship in the second half of the season. Despite a talented defensive line, Buffalo is last in the NFL in run defense. That’s embarrassing considering the Bills have Mario Williams, Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams up front. Buffalo also is 20th in pass defense, mostly due to its young corners. Bills defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt is getting a lot of heat in Buffalo and rightfully so. The Bills have the players to be a good defense. Someone has to take the blame.
2. Get healthy
This is always huge during the bye week. The Bills are banged up on the offensive line. Buffalo is optimistic it has a chance to get back starting guard Kraig Urbik and left tackle Cordy Glenn. This is also a chance for running backs C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson to get back to 100 percent. Both players suffered injuries earlier this season and appear to be getting back to form.
3. Consider personnel changes
Bills head coach Chan Gailey already said he’s not making changes to his staff. So with that off the table, the only changes that can be considered are with personnel. But where do you begin? The much-hyped defensive line is underachieving. The linebackers are struggling. The two young corners -- Aaron Williams and Stephon Gilmore -- are inconsistent week to week. The Bills don’t have the depth to bring a lot of players off the bench who can make an impact. In many areas they are forced to stick with what they have. But that’s why NFL coaches get paid the big bucks. It’s up to Gailey to figure this all out.