Sitting at 4-7 and heading into their Week 12 bye, the most important thing for the Buffalo Bills right now is to get healthy.
Though the passing game looked good on Sunday against the New York Jets despite missing their top two targets in Robert Woods and Stevie Johnson, the team would love the duo back for obvious reasons.
Quarterback E.J. Manuel continues to flash that dynamic talent that made him the Bills’ first-round pick back in April, and the more weapons you give a quarterback the better he is likely to be. Not only that, but having more weapons opens up the running game and the Bills have one of the best in the business when things are clicking.
In nine games this year, Johnson has caught 41 passes for 471 yards and three touchdowns. He’s been visibly banged up going all the way back to the Cleveland game in Week 5 when he missed the second half with an apparent back injury. He’s dealt with hip and groin issues since, gutting out admirable performance after admirable performance before finally being shut down. Having him back, healthy and acting as the team’s No. 1 receiving option will make everyone else’s life a bit easier.
Woods, who has 26 catches for 349 yards and a pair of touchdowns, looked like he was finally starting to come on a bit as a more viable option before being taken down with an ankle injury. The Bills have high hopes for the rookie, and he’ll need as much time as possible to get his reps in and gain confidence.
Going back to the running game, C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson will benefit from a week of rest as well. Spiller seems to be mostly healed from an ankle injury that plagued him for much of the season while Jackson has been thoroughly banged up throughout the season but keeps chugging along.
Getting those two healthy – arguably the biggest weapons the offense has – will go a long way towards helping Manuel and the offense continue to thrive. When they’re clicking on all cylinders this offense can be one of the best in terms of pace and consistently moving the chains.
As hard as it is to believe, the Bills are in the AFC Wild Card race. They have the NFL’s easiest schedule ahead of them, and getting healthy right now would be the biggest and best thing that could happen to them.
The Bills at near 100 percent are a team that can make some noise in the NFL.