The Buffalo Bills’ running game has an opportunity to get right coming out of the bye weekend.

The Bills’ next three opponents – Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville – rank 30th, ninth and 32nd, respectively, against the run heading into Week 12.

Through the first 11 games of the season, the Bills have faced five of the top 11 run defenses in the NFL, including the top-ranked New York Jets twice.

Despite that, Buffalo ranks second in the AFC and seventh in the NFL in rushing offense, but is coming off a pair of subpar efforts. The Bills managed just 95 yards in Week 10 against Pittsburgh and 68 against the Jets in Week 11.

The difference is that against the Steelers, rookie quarterback EJ Manuel could not carry the offense in a 23-10 loss. That changed in Week 11 against New York, when Manuel threw for 245 yards and two touchdowns in a 37-14 win.

Running back C.J. Spiller said he expects teams will try to follow the Jets’ blueprint in coming weeks.

“Teams are still going to come stacked,” Spiller said, referring to crowding defenders near the line of scrimmage in an effort to stop the run. “When you’ve got two good running backs, you’d be crazy not to. If you don’t, then we’ll just chew you up.”

Bills coach Doug Marrone agreed with that take.

“I think when you have young quarterbacks, a lot of times people will take just a general philosophy of stacking the box – ‘we’re not going to let your backs beat us; we’re going to see if the quarterback can beat us.’ Until the quarterback starts beating people, that’s how people will usually play,” Marrone said.

Manuel did that by completing passes against the Jets on Sunday that he couldn’t in the teams’ Week Three meeting. Manuel completed three passes of at least 34 yards, with two of those going for touchdowns.

“Teams were trying to force us to throw the ball outside,” Marrone said. “When you can do that and loosen people up and make them play more coverage … that gives you a better opportunity to run the football and it gives you a better opportunity to take advantage of the middle of the field.”

The bye week is a good opportunity for the Bills’ coaching staff to go back and review what worked so well for the running game at the start of the season.

“We just have to get back to that,” Spiller said. “At the end of the day, the running game is our bread and butter, especially in the conditions we play in. You have to be able to run the ball. We have a young quarterback, so we want to try to take as much pressure off him. We know teams are going to continue to look at the game plan that the Jets had and try to emulate that. We have to do a better job of executing. And we will. I have all the faith in the world in the guys up front.”

Spiller’s frustration was evident against the Jets. He carried the ball 13 times for just 6 yards Sunday. Marrone said after the game he told Spiller to, in effect, get in the ear holes of the team’s offensive linemen about blocking better.