It was expected that Drew Bledsoe would help the Buffalo Bills improve this season. But there weren't many observers who expected Buffalo to make such a jump after last year's 3-13 disaster.

The Bills have made themselves a factor in the AFC East race behind an offense that ranks as one of the best in the NFL.

In fact, Buffalo will enter Sunday's game against the Dolphins with the second-ranked offense in the NFL. The big reason has been Bledsoe, who is on pace to pass for 5,376 yards, which would shatter Dan Marino's single-season NFL record of 5,084 yards.

Bledsoe has been the biggest reason for the Bills' resurgence, but it must be pointed out that he is benefiting from one of the top receiving groups in the NFL.

Former second-round pick Peerless Price leads the NFL with 581 receiving yards, while former first-round pick Eric Moulds isn't far behind with 614 yards.

Rookie wideout Josh Reed also has contributed in the passing game, as has fullback Larry Centers and halfback Travis Henry.

Henry has overcome fumbling problems to give the Bills some balance on offense. Henry is among the AFC rushing leaders with 499 yards and seven touchdowns.

The big question mark on offense coming into the season was the offensive line, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that Bledsoe already has been sacked 21 times (3.5 times a game).

But the Bills have been able to overcome that well enough to score 31 points or more in five of their six games — and they scored 23 in the other.

The offensive line could be short-handed against the Dolphins with starting rookie tackle Mike Williams a question mark because of a hamstring injury.

Defensively, the Bills were expected to be weak, and they have been just that.

The one stat that really jumps out is the fact the Bills have not recorded a single interception all season. That's really mind-boggling. No other team in the NFL has less than three picks on the season.

The Bills have compensated for that somewhat with a pretty good pass rush; Buffalo has 18 sacks after six games, including 4.5 by defensive end Aaron Schobel and four by fellow defensive end Chidi Ahanotu.

Buffalo has been mediocre against the run, with opponents averaging a whopping 4.7 yards per carry.

The Bills have gotten very little from their return game so far this year, with the exception of Charlie Rogers' 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Minnesota.

But the Bills' coverage teams have been really poor, the first example coming when the Jets' Chad Morton returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in the opener, including the game-winning score in overtime.

Buffalo has a very solid placekicker in Mike Hollis, who is 10-for-13 on field goal attempts this season.

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