The Buffalo Bills have reached their bye week with a 3-2 record, and when you take the macro view of the first five weeks of the season, that’s not bad considering some media and fans — national and local — thought they might be one of the five worst teams in the league.

Instead, they’re tied for first place in the AFC East with the soon-to-be-soaring Patriots, a team some thought would go 16-0, and the astonishing Jets, a team some thought would go 0-16.

This is the NFL as we know it; you can’t accurately forecast anything in a league where every week, things happen that simply belie practicality.

However, it’s the micro view, specifically focused on what happened Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati, that should give Bills fans pause. Those first four weeks were fun, but there should be some fear that the team we saw lose 20-16 to the Bengals is who the Bills really are as opposed to the team that went into Atlanta last week and beat the Falcons.

This is a terribly flawed group, and many of those flaws were on display at soggy Paul Brown Stadium where the only thing gloomier than Buffalo’s offense was the weather. The Bills have squeezed every bit they could have out of these first five games, but unless they get their offense on track, it will be difficult to stay in the AFC playoff chase.