The 6-6 Buffalo Bills sit in the No. 10 slot in the AFC, not the place the three-straight AFC East winners expected to be heading into their bye week.
However, head coach Sean McDermott sees a club that can right the ship down the stretch.
"We know we'd rather have a better record than what we have," he said Monday, via the team's official website. "But we are who we are and the encouraging thing is all the goals that we set for ourselves are still within our reach."
The Bills' 6-6 start in 2023 is their worst through the first 12 games of a season since 2018, Josh Allen's rookie campaign (4-8) -- the last time they missed the playoffs.
Buffalo sits three losses behind the Miami Dolphins in the AFC East and behind the likes of Pittsburgh (7-4), Cleveland (7-4), Indianapolis (6-5), Houston (6-5) and Denver (6-5).
Sunday's overtime failure in Philadelphia marked the third loss in four games for McDermott's club, all coming in one-score defeats. It's been a cumulative failure in Buffalo with the offense turning the ball over and a defense that can't get stops down the stretch.
"No one's more frustrated than I am. I can promise you that," McDermott said. "We're working hard at figuring it out. We've played well, I would say, defensively in the majority of our games this year, and we get into these one-score situations down the end of the game and we got to find a way to close it out. And there's a lot of things that go into that in trying to close a game out, right? So those are the things that we're studying moving forward."
Things get no easier for McDermott's crew out of the bye. Buffalo travels to Kansas City in Week 14, followed by the contests against the Cowboys and Chargers before closing things out with division tilts against the Patriots and Dolphins. If they run back to the postseason, the Bills will have earned their bid.