1. DISTRACTIONS? WHAT DISTRACTIONS?
They're 3,500 miles from home, living and practicing in a resort hotel on the outskirts of one of the world's great cities. But Bills players and coaches are determined to stay focused on the game as they begin the practice week.
In fact, Head Coach Rex Ryan thinks being away from Buffalo, and some of the negative media attention on his team's 3-3 record, might help.
"I know the sky is falling down in Buffalo because we've lost three games," Ryan said. "We're three and three, losing to two undefeated teams and one that's tied for first place. So I'm kind of glad we're not there. Because you don't need to be around the negatives. We've got to fix things, we recognize that. It wasn't our plan to be 3-3, but that's where we're at. We've got to get better. This is going to be a week where we can get better and we need to."
The Bills start practice Wednesday at the regulation NFL practice field on the grounds of their headquarters hotel, The Grove. The hotel hosted England's National Soccer team for its workouts prior to the World Cup in 2014.
2. WHO'S UNDER CENTER?
There's a chance Tyrod Taylor could be back as the starting quarterback in Sunday's game against the Jaguars. Rex Ryan will update Taylor's status when he meets the media Wednesday.
But based on how close Taylor was last week, the Bills may decide he's ready to go Sunday, two weeks after suffering a knee injury. Taylor has been wearing a brace on his knee since the injury, but he took snaps in team work last week and worked out hard on the side during practice leading up to the Bengals game.
Although Rex Ryan said he was happy with EJ Manuel's performance against Cincinnati overall, Buffalo would benefit from the extra dimension Taylor brings to the offense with his ability to run. The calculation would be how effective Taylor would be running the ball as he recovers from his knee injury. It's likely to be a week-long process to determine whether he can play.
3. ROAD WARRIORS
The results at home have been disappointing, with three straight losses at Ralph Wilson Stadium. But the Bills have established themselves as a good road team so far in 2015.
They are 2-0 so far on the road, and with a win Sunday, they would start the season 3-0 on the road, the first time the Bills have started a season with three straight road wins since 1993.
Last year, the Bills went 4-4 on the road, winning three of their first four away from home.
- WILL THE DEFENSIVE PHILOSOPHY BE ADJUSTED?**
Cincinnati's 34-point total against the Bills last week has forced the Bills to take a closer look at what they're doing defensively. Rex Ryan acknowledged after the game Sunday that his plan for the Bengals didn't generate enough pressure on Bengals QB Andy Dalton
"I went with some three man rush stuff and never let my guys go as much as I should have," Ryan said in his postgame comments. "I thought we had great coverage downfield and we put our cover guys out there and I don't think our guys had enough shots at him, but we'll see. We've got to take a long, hard look at what we're asking our guys to do."
The Bills had a bad day on third downs against the Bengals. They converted 58-percent of their third downs. For the season, Buffalo's opponents are converting 39-percent of their third down attempts this season, good for 16th in the NFL.
5. WHAT'S BEHIND FAST STARTS? AND THEN OFFENSIVE FIZZLES?
It's happened three times so far in the Bills first half-dozen games—fast starts out of the gate for the offense. And in two of those games, New England and last week against Cincinnati, the offense went dormant after a strong start.
Against the Patriots, the Bills started the game with an 8-minute 80-yard touchdown drive. In Miami, Buffalo scored touchdowns on its' first two possessions, drives of 77-yards and 81-yards. And last week against the Bengals, the Bills moved like clockwork down the field on an 80-yard touchdown drive to start the game, only to struggle getting a first down the next few series.
The coaching staff will work this week to figure out how to avoid an offensive stall after a quick start. One key might be their starting field position. In the Bengals game, after the opening drive, Buffalo's next first half drive starts were from the 11, 17, 13, 20 and 14 yard lines.
6. FAMILIAR FACES ON THE OPPOSITE SIDELINE
The Jaguars will bring some former Buffalo Bills players and coaches when they come to London later this week.
Most notably, former Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone will be on the sidelines as Jacksonville's Assistant Head Coach-Offense and Offensive Line Coach. Former Bills Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is now the Jaguars Quarterbacks Coach.
Jacksonville's middle linebacker is former Bills 2nd round pick Paul Posluszny, who spent four years in Buffalo. Jags backup offensive tackle Sam Young started four games over a two year stint in Buffalo in 2012 and '13. And former Bills backup quarterback Jeff Tuel is on the Jaguars practice squad.