ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Teetering on the edge of elimination from the playoff chase, the Bills say they still have a shot to make it happen and it starts Sunday at the Ralph against Jacksonville (2-9).
It's been rare this season the Bills (4-7) have put a complete effort together in all three phases of the game and that's a big reason for the position in which they find themselves.
While the defense has improved in the past couple of weeks, the offense has sputtered... the special teams unit has given up return touchdowns in back to back games.
It's a team still searching for the total package, and time is quickly running out.
"You know we haven't done that consistently, but we have to do that going into this stretch if we want to keep our playoff hopes alive," said safety George Wilson. "We must be able to go in and win the field position battle on special teams, and to be able to stop teams on defense, and be able to put points on the board on offense."
There's plenty of blame to go around for the Bills' 4-7 record. Much of the early season troubles were heaped on the defense, but that unit has been playing much better than it had early in the year.
Last week in the loss to Indy, the defense surrendered only 13 points. The previous week, week, the "D" gave up only seven points in a win against the Dolphins. A group that was expected to be a strong point this season took much longer than anyone wanted to come together.
"It was a new system, new scheme, and a lot of new guys really when you think about starters," said linebacker Kelvin Sheppard. "You have Mark Anderson, Mario Williams, Nigel Bradham, Stephon Gilmore. Half our starters were all new guys, first year players, yeah definitely."
"I think the confidence level, and I can speak from the defensive side, is at an all-time high," said linebacker Bryan Scott. "You have two good games, you've strung together two good games. It's still just the tip of the iceberg of what we're capable of doing. So if we put it all together, great things are going to happen for us."
The Bills and Jaguars kick off at 1 p.m. Sunday. Ralph Wilson Stadium did not sell out, so the game will not be seen in the Buffalo television market.