The Buffalo Bills began the season as one of the surprise teams in the league, behind the inspired play of quarterback Drew Bledsoe. But a recent slump has put the Bills on the verge of being knocked out of playoff contention.

Since beating Detroit on Oct. 27 to improve to 5-3, the Bills have dropped games against New England, Kansas City and the Jets to fall to 5-6.

The defense, which has been a question mark all season, has been victimized during the three-game slide, but it's the offense that has let down the Bills the most.

Drew Bledsoe arrived at the midway point of the season on pace to threaten Dan Marino's single-season passing yardage record, but his numbers have fallen off dramatically in recent weeks.

After reaching 300 yards passing in five of his first nine games, Bledsoe didn't come close in either of the last two games.

Partly because of that, the Bills were held to 7, 16, and 13 points in their last three losses.

The running game has had its moments, thanks to Travis Henry, who hurt the Dolphins with his outside running in the first meeting between the teams.

The receiving corps remains a great one with Eric Moulds, Peerless Price and Josh Reed, but Bledsoe has been under constant pressure in recent weeks and has had difficulty getting into a rhythm.

On the other side of the ball, teams have had tremendous success running against the Bills.

Buffalo has allowed seven of its 11 opponents to rush for 130 yards or more, and that's a recipe for disaster.

Another problem has been the inability to create turnovers. Remember those four interceptions the Bills recorded against the Dolphins? Well, Buffalo has five picks total for the season.

The pass rush has been decent, at best, although Aaron Schobel (6 sacks) and Chidi Ahanotu (5 sacks) are putting up decent numbers.

Special teams have been a problem all season for the Bills, who are allowing opponents to average over 13 yards per punt return.

The Dolphins were at their worst when they played the Bills last October, while Buffalo may have been peaking.

The opposite could be true this time around.

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