2016 NFL Preview: Buffalo Bills

Day two of the NFL previews rolls along with a look at a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs in almost twenty years. You think your favorite NFL team sucks? Try being a Bills fan. It’s miserable.

Is there some hope on the horizion for these guys though?

Is this finally the year the Bills break that dreaded playoff curse?

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Buffalo Bills

The Stats:

Record Last Ten Seasons: 8-8 (2015), 9-7 (2014), 6-10 (2013), 6-10 (2-12), 6-10 (2011), 4-12 (2010), 6-10 (2009), 7-9 (2008), 7-9 (2007), 7-9 (2006)

Last Playoff Appearance: 1999 Wildcard vs. Tennessee Titans

Last Playoff Win: 1995 Wildcard vs. Miami Dolphins

Super Bowl Titles Won: 0

Passing Leader for 2015: Tyrod Taylor (3035 yards, 20 touchdowns, 6 interceptions)

Rushing Leader for 2015: LeSean McCoy (895 yards, 3 touchdowns)

Receiving Leader for 2015: Sammy Watkins (1047 yards, 9 touchdowns)

The Head Coach:

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Rex Ryan

Overall Record (as a head coach): 54-58

Record With Team: 8-8

Previous NFL Jobs: Arizona Cardinals Defensive Line & Linebackers Coach (1994-1995), Baltimore Ravens Defensive Line Coach (1999-2004), Baltimore Ravens Defensive Coordinator (2005-2008), Baltimore Ravens Assistant Head Coach & Defensive Coordinator (2008), New York Jets Head Coach (2009-2014)

My Grade: C+

The Team:

(Depth Charts will change as training camps progress obviously….)

Player Grade Guide:

Blue = Elite Player

Green = Really Good Player

Orange = Average Player

Pink = Meh

Red = NO THANKS

Gray = Rookie

Offense:

QB: Tyrod Taylor

RB: LeSean McCoy

FB: Jerome Felton

WR: Sammy Watkins

WR: Robert Woods

TE: Charles Clay

OC: Eric Wood

OG: Richie Incognito

OG: John Miller

OT: Cordy Glenn

OT: Jordan Mills

Defense:

DE: Kyle Williams

DT: Marcell Dareus

DT: T.J. Barnes

DE: Adolphus Washington

LB: Jerry Hughes

LB: Preston Brown

LB: Manny Lawson

CB: Ronald Darby 

CB: Stephon Gilmore

SS: Corey Graham

FS: Aaron Williams

The Schedule:

vs. @ Baltimore Ravens (September 11)

vs. New York Jets (September 15)

vs. Arizona Cardinals (September 25)

vs. @ New England Patriots (October 2)

vs. @ Los Angeles Rams (October 9)

vs. San Francisco 49ers (October 16)

vs. @ Miami Dolphins (October 23)

vs. New England Patriots (October 30)

vs. @ Seattle Seahawks (November 7)

BYE WEEK

vs. @ Cincinnati Bengals (November 20)

vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (November 27)

vs. @ Oakland Raiders (December 4)

vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (December 11)

vs. Cleveland Browns (December 18)

vs. Miami Dolphins (December 24)

vs. @ New York Jets (January 1)

The Prediction:

7-9

Brief Synopsis:

What do we make of the Buffalo Bills this season? They are a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs in almost twenty years. Forget teams like the Cincinnati Bengals and the Detroit Lions who haven’t won a playoff game in decades, the Bills can’t even make the damn playoffs! That’s plain ridiculous in today’s NFL that is built around parity more so than ever before. A big reason to blame is the Bills’ front office. They have mis-fired on head coaching hire after head coaching hire for as long as I can remember. I’m not a fan of current head coach Rex Ryan and Bills fans won’t be either after he’s fired next season (insert side-eye emoji). But we are getting way ahead of ourselves, aren’t we? What about this year’s Bills team? Is there ANY hope for them?

Yes. And a lot of that hope will hinge on the development of Tyrod Taylor and the Bills offense. The offense showed some spark last season when Taylor kind of crept up out of nowhere and became Buffalo’s franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future. The question with Taylor is, can he continue to develop and turn into one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks? If that happens, there’s no reason this Bills offense couldn’t eventually blossom into one of the league’s best. LeSean McCoy is a good running back when he’s healthy and on-the-field. Sammy Watkins is one of my favorite wide receivers and he continues to improve each year. Yes, the Bills need a few more weapons for Taylor but it’s not like they are working with chicken shit here. The offensive line is also OK and should be a big key in Taylor’s improvement this season. I think the Bills may surprise some people this year on this side of the ball. Taylor could end up being a huge fantasy sleeper this season.

But what about the defense? It was just a few seasons ago that Buffalo had arguably the best defense in the NFL. That surprisingly changed the first year under the guidance of new head coach Ryan (who’s strength is the defensive side of the ball). What went wrong last season? I have no idea, but it’s on Ryan and his crew to get this ship turned around. Buffalo has a lot of pieces to work with on the defensive side of the ball and there’s no excuse why this unit took such a significant step back last year (they went from the 4th ranked defense to the 19th ranked). I expect them to get it turned around this season, I’m just not sure they’ll be able to re-capture the magic they had in 2014.

So, after almost twenty years with no post-season football, will this be the year that Buffalo FINALLY returns to the playoffs? No. The Bills have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball and Tyrod Taylor makes them an extremely interesting watch on the offensive side. But, I’m not sure this team has what it takes to take out the likes of the New England Patriots and crown themselves the new kings of the AFC East. Rex Ryan is a knucklehead and I’m sure he’ll do something boneheaded to cost his team a chance at a playoff return. He decided to bring his brother Rob Ryan on board to help out with the defense, which is extremely interesting considering Rob’s last job was with the New Orleans Saints and they had one of the worst defenses in the league under him. So ya….GOOD LUCK WITH THAT ONE BILLS FANS! It may not be a dream season in Buffalo, but it’s going to be an entertaining one.

2 thoughts on “2016 NFL Preview: Buffalo Bills

  1. Pingback: Casual Fan Preview: AFC East – The Ultimate Sports Blog

  2. Pingback: Full NFL Coverage – The Ultimate Sports Blog

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