Buffalo Bills-Predicted Record- 9-7
This team has a lot of offensive talent, perhaps maybe one of the most explosive offensive squads in the league. With fantasy monster and all-around speedster C.J. Spiller (1,244 yards, 12 touchdowns), power-back Fred Jackson and 3rd down back Tashard Choice, the Bills running game is the deepest and most versatile in the game.
Even though former Harvard Grad and Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was the face of the franchise and signed a $59 million contract extension in 2011, the past two seasons he has averaged a measly 3,616 yards and an embarrassing 19.5 interceptions.
Thankfully this off-season Fitzpatrick has taken his talents to Tennessee as the Bills have signed former Cardinal Kevin Kolb. And backing up perhaps an average QB Kevin Kolb is an above average QB in rookie E.J. Manuel out of Florida State has both the throwing and especially running ability that can make this Bills offense extremely dangerous in the AFC East.
Unfortunately in a preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings, Manuel slightly injured his left knee, leaving him stagnant until the start of the regular season.
No need to fear however, behind Kolb and Manuel is an all-pro collection of receivers ranging from star Stevie Johnson (3 straight 1,000 yard seasons), fantasy standout TE Scott Chandler (571 yards, 6 touchdowns) and rookie Robert Woods out of USC (1,292 yards, 15 touchdowns).
2013 could be the year where we see this Bills offense scorch NFL defenses as soon as week one.
On the defensive side of the ball the Bills have definitely struggled the past 4 years, averaging 23rd in total defense, including letting up a hefty 27.2 points per game last season. As well, during their first 5 games of the 2012 season, the Bills defense let up 45 points or more, 3 times.
The reason for their lack of success on the defensive side of the ball was due to their inability to stop the run.
Last season the Bills were ranked 31st in rush defense allowing a monstrous 2,333 yards, only 28 yards less than the 32nd ranked New Orleans Saints. That’s an average of about 145.8 rushing yards per game. That’s fifteen yards more than Adrian Peterson’s yards-per-game average the entire last season.
As well, the Bills only had 21 takeaways last season, ranked 11th in the AFC.
Although Mario Williams was the leading sack man on this roster in 2012, this Bills team looks reborn with Free-agent signings of former Bengal Manny Lawson, Jerry Hughes and their most important acquisition; new Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine.
Hopefully Pettine and his no-nonsense brand of defense will refurbish this ineffective Bills rushing defense and bring back the Bills to their glory days of Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas.