Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan admitted this week that the allure of the bye week - a restorative stretch of time away from the field for his team to heal mentally and, more importantly, physically - is in the back of everyone's minds despite a week-long field trip to London to face the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium.
Before the Bills arrive at said bye week, they have a highly important football game to win. The Jaguars squad they face is more competitive than its 1-5 record would indicate - four of their five losses have been by between 3-11 points, with their lone blowout loss coming at the hands of New England - and the Bills are limping into this one in several ways.
The Bills are coming off of a third straight home loss last weekend, and face the prospect of entering the toughest part of their schedule below .500 unless they can gut out a win overseas. They will be without the services of a whopping eight major contributors today, for reasons that are injury-related (Tyrod Taylor, Karlos Williams, Sammy Watkins, Seantrel Henderson, and Kyle Williams are all out hurt) and that aren't (Percy Harvin may be mulling retirement, and John Miller is back stateside on bereavement).
Still, the show must go on - and while "must" is a tough word to use this early in a season when paired with "win," this game does feel a bit like a must-win situation for the Bills, despite the circumstances. They kick off against the Jags in about 15 minutes (from the time this post was published, at any rate). We're talking about the first half of the game in the comments below. Go Bills!