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The 2014 Buffalo Bills Season Preview


The Bills say, “It’s Our Time”—but is it? Will #14 (4th round draft pick, Sammy Watkins) help end the 14-year playoff drought in 2014?

These questions will be answered in a few months. Some say they are already answered. (Those people need a hug.)

A Review: 2013

To correctly set up the game-by-game predictions below, it seems appropriate to review last year’s predictions. Overall, my predictions were a respectable 9-7. Nine were correct, seven were wrong.

The breakdown is interesting. First, I was two for nine in the first half, and then rattled off seven straight correct picks in the last seven weeks. Impressive! (Except for that first part…)

Even more interesting to me is that I was slightly better at predicting the Bills’ losses than wins. (I suppose that is greatly aided by the Bills giving me ten losses in sixteen games to “get right”. Ugh…)

Well, let’s see if this year will be any better.

2014 season preview

@ Chicago – L (0-1)

Not the way you want to start a season. Especially with rumors of unrest and locker room turmoil, and new ownership on its way, and the angst surrounding the trade up for Sammy Watkins. But the Bears have a really good offense. Two great receivers. A QB who can throw TDs—but he’s also really amazing at throwing the ball to the other team, too. Buffalo’s strongest unit is their defense, which seems to have improved in 2014, despite “losing” Jairus Byrd (they let him go) and the injury to Kiki Alonso. The Bills’ offense is not too shabby, either, and Chicago’s defense has been suspect. Expect lots of points in this game; scores in the mid-to-high 20s for both teams, and higher. But I think the Bears get the win on the last drive or last play.

Miami – W (1-1)

Well, there’s nothing like a Miami home opener to right the ship! It’s always fun when Miami comes to Buffalo in December, but the home opener against the Fins is probably the second best choice. Miami does have some talent (Mike Wallace, Lamar Miller, Knowshon Moreno, and a very solid defense) but Buffalo, at home, in the opener… the Bills should shine, all the way to a 10-point (or more) victory.

San Diego – W (2-1)

This one is hard to pick before I see the Chargers play. I like San Diego this year as one of the better teams in the AFC. The good news for the Bills is, the AFC is fairly weak this year. The Chargers can score points, but maybe not against the Bills rock-solid defense. Pressure, takeaways, stopping the run—all may lead to a Bills victory. Not to mention the home crowd. Pumped up after the division win the week prior, I expect the Bills can outlast the Chargers who travel across the country—after playing the defending Champion Seahawks the week before—to play in Orchard Park.

@ Houston – W (3-1)

This one is also hard to pick. Best part of this game for Bills fans will be facing former starting QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick, who (along with his beard) remains a Bills fan favorite. The Texans have some great pieces on offense and defense. But, they were the worst team in the league last year. Will Fitz be able to get the ball to their offensive weapons? Will the Bills offense be able to handle Watt and Jadeveon Clowney (and the rest!)? I really don’t know. My gut says Fitz throws a crucial pick late in this game, and the Bills eke out the victory. I’m going with my gut.

@ Detroit – L (3-2)

In the offseason, the Bills lost their stellar defensive coordinator, Mike Pettine, but shortly after they gained former Lions HC Jim Schwartz. The defense does not seem to have missed a beat. Schwartz knows defense, and of course, he knows the Lions. With that advantage, there is a chance the Bills can sneak out of Detroit with the win, but I think the Bills find a way to lose this road game: EJ Manuel is still a very young QB, an ill-timed fumble, inability to contain Calvin Johnson… whatever it ends up being, the Bills lose a close game and fall to 3-2.

New England – W (4-2)

Yes. You read the right: win. The Bills have been so close for so long, including last year’s first game in Buffalo against the Pats. This year, this game: Bills win. Brandon Spikes said it would happen, so… Who knows what each team will look like by week seven (injuries, etc) but the Bills should want this game, at their home stadium, and I think they overpower the Patriots on offense and defense. Tom Brady is still Tom Brady, so he can always reverse any amount of great Bills effort, but on this October day in 2014, the Bills get the much-needed victory.

Minnesota – W (5-2)

Adrian Peterson is coming to town. If the Bills run defense has not been tested yet (but it will have been) this will be a great test. The Bills play better at home. They just do. So this day would likely see a fired-up defense, and an adequate offense, and against a Minnesota team that puts all of its hopes on its (amazing) running back. If they can’t stop AP, then they could lose. (But they could still win.) If they can then this game goes easily to Buffalo at home.

@ NY Jets – L (5-3)

One of the Bills worst games last season was in New Jersey against the Jets. This year they face the Jets for the first time on the road, one week before their bye. At 5-2, they’re probably really happy with the way the season has gone… until this day. Rex Ryan and his ample defense find ways to confound the Bills offense more than the Bills defense will be able to compensate for, giving the Jets the win. If it’s really ugly, a big win.


No loss here! (No win, either.)

Kansas City – W (6-3)

This game, in 2013, KC @ Buffalo, did not end the way it “should” have. The Bills played really well, had a big lead, with their third-string quarterback, until that QB threw an INT at the goal line that was returned the other way for a long TD, and then fumbled away the ball the next drive. That’s not likely to happen this year. I know KC has weapons. But I really think they are overrated, and it showed last year as the Bills should have/could have beaten them. That happens this year as they can not overcome our defense, nor stop our offense. Bills win big.

@ Miami – W (7-3)

This game will be tough. Miami will need the win. They are home. The Bills are traveling. But the Bills are better. They have more offensive weapons. They have as good a defense as the Dolphins. Dan Carpenter kicks several field goals to defeat his former team for the second time in 2014: Bills get another road win! Wow!

NJ Jets – W (8-3)

After losing to the Jets on the road, the Bills will need to win this rematch at their own place. It’s getting late in the year, and division wins are really important. Last year, EJ Manuel showed why the Bills picked him over Geno Smith when he looked great against the Jets, and Smith had a QB rating in the single digits, looking awful. The Bills play well at home, and they get a hard-fought, but “easy” victory over the Jets. (Spiller, Jackson, Brown, and Dixon pile up over 200 yards rushing in this game, too.) And the Bills are 8-3?!?!

Cleveland – W (9-3)

One of the games the Bills really, really should have won last year was against Cleveland on a Thursday night. They had the game won until EJ Manuel was injured, then everything fell apart. Assuming a full roster of players, the Bills will avenge that loss and then some. The Bills are just far superior to the Browns. Sorry, Coach Pettine, your return to Buffalo will not be pretty. Bills by thirty. (Or so…)

@ Denver – L (9-4)

The Bills begin their descent to reality with a road game against the Denver Manning. Peyton will find a way to overcome this defense, and the Bills, while giving their best against last year’s AFC Champs, will likely go home with a loss here. This begins a stretch of three road games in four weeks.

Green Bay – L (9-5)

Green Bay is good. Buffalo at home in December is hard to beat. One of those things will have to give in this last home game of 2014, and I think Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will find a way to win this game in Buffalo. They know how to play in cold weather, so that won’t be an issue. The Bills will likely put up a good fight, but the Pack win, handing Buffalo a second-straight loss.

@ Oakland – L (9-6)

If the Bills are as good as their previously 9-3 record would suggest, they need to find a way to win this game. This is the “winnable” game in their last quarter of the schedule. But, the Raiders are improved, and at home, facing the Eastern time zone Bills, Buffalo gets another loss. Third straight. Might the playoffs be in jeopardy?

@ New England – L (9-7)

The Bills have to win this game. They have NEVER won in Gillette Stadium. Ever. Really! Spikes predicted two wins against his former team for his current team in 2014, but can they really do it? Looking at New England’s schedule, I think they will need this game as much as Buffalo. (I think they might need it to salvage a winning season, coming into the game at 8-7.) Tom Brady gets one last win over the Bills, and the Bills will have to wait till 2015 to beat New England in their house.

Funny. I predicted a 9-7 record for Buffalo last season, too. That didn’t turn out so well. Maybe this is the year the Bills actually do play up to their potential?

It begins today! Buffalo @ Chicago at 1pm. Go Bills!

Games Players Schedule

Get Your Popcorn Ready

popcornAs anticipated, the signing of Terrell Owens this off-season has increased the national appeal of our small-town gridiron heroes. The formerly uninteresting, middle-of-the-pack nobodies are now one of the teams slated to be showcased on the NFL’s opening weekend. Partly because they are one of the original AFL teams, and the NFL is celebrating the AFL’s 50th anniversary this season, but mostly because of T.O.

Get your popcorn ready, North America.

Think what you will about T.O. – selfishness, “Me Only” attitude, bashing teammates (especially QBs) – he definitely commands attention. Dick Jauron can’t stop parroting his stats in press conferences. His new coach is obviously impressed. And so are season ticket holders. Increased sales and renewals are a direct result of signing just this one player. The Bills Store has also seen an amazing demand for Owens jerseys. The guy commands attention.

The Bills have at least one more showcase game already. They will be on the national stage once again when they play their second game across the border in Toronto, Ontario. (Also known by the locals as, “T.O.” That won’t be exploited at all…) The early talk is that the Bills could play Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in that game. Other possibilities include Tampa Bay and New Orleans.

But I really don’t think that will be the end of it. Thanks to the T.O. factor, NFL fans across the country (and beyond) should be seeing our Buffalo Bills many times this season.

I really like the first game for Buffalo, too. Think about it. The return of Tom Brady. T.O.’s first game. The losing streak is beginning to rival that dreaded Oh-for-the-70s streak against the hated Miami Dolphins. What better litmus test for this T.O.-powered offense (and the whole team in general) than the one team they just can’t beat? (The one possible flaw being the likely absence of star RB Marshawn Lynch, who should be serving the first game of a suspension whose length – and actuality – is yet to be determined.)

The NFL powers that be have decided the Bills are worth watching. Most Bills fans are equally intrigued. If nothing else, you have to admit, Bills’ GM (and former marketing guy) Russ Brandon really knows how to market his team.

So we now have a date. September 14th at 7:00pm EDT.

Get your popcorn ready.


Buffalo Bills 2009 Opponents

Since the season has ended for our Buffalo Bills… it’s time to start thinking about next year! Now that we know the order of finish for the teams in each division, we also know the teams that we will play next season, home and away. (The actual schedule of the games isn’t available until sometime in April, usually.)

So here it is:

HOME: Buccaneers, Colts, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots, Saints, Texans, Browns

AWAY: Dolphins, Falcons, Jaguars, Jets, Panthers, Patriots, Titans, Chiefs

Playing the AFC and NFC South divisions next year should be quite a challenge. Most of those teams were not only very well-rounded, successful teams in 2008… they are also young. Meaning they’ll very likely be as good or better next year.

I just hope we don’t go 7-9 again.

AFC East Schedule

AFC East: Best Division in Football?

If you just look at records, a good argument can be made for the AFC East being the best division in football. Tonight’s battle for first place between the Jets and Patriots being decided by a field goal in overtime is evidence of just how good all the teams in this division might be.

It’s conceivable that at the end of this weekend the Jets could have a one-game lead over all three other teams in the division. And it doesn’t stop there. Take a look at the remaining games for each of the four teams:

(Remaining Opponent’s Records in Parentheses)
JETS: @ Ten, Den, @ SF, Buf, @ Sea, Mia (28-25)
PATS: @ Mia, Pit, @ Sea, @ Oak, Ari, @ Buf (25-28)
FINS: Oak, NE, @ StL, @ Buf (Tor), SF, @ KC, @ NYJ (20-34)
BILLS: Cle, @ KC, SF, Mia (Tor), @ NYJ, @ Den, NE (22-32)

The Dolphins would seem to have the easiest remaining schedule of all four of the teams. But they also have four remaining road games, as do the Patriots. The Bills have three actual road games left, but most consider one of the remaining home games a virtual away game, as it will be played in Toronto, Canada.

A quick glance at the remaining schedules, taking into account how the four teams have played so far, it is not unreasonable to say that each team in this division could actually finish with ten wins!

The Jets already have seven, and they play Denver at home (whose defense is horrendous), and road games against two of the NFC West teams that currently sport 2 wins and 7 losses. Those games alone should get them to ten wins on the season.

The Patriots have been playing really well under their fill-in quarterback. (And their fill-in running backs, for that matter.) They should be favored to win their two West coast road games against Oakland and Seattle. The other five games could be tough, but it would be hard to see the Patriots losing three of those five.

While it is just incredible that the Dolphins actually have a winning record 10 weeks into the season, they have earned it. They are playing hard, and they are using the talent they have to its fullest potential. Don’t expect that to stop. They get to play Oakland, St. Louis, Kansas City and San Francisco. It’s still a little hard to believe, but, the team who had one win last season should win all four of those. That is nine wins, and it seems the Fins might grab one of the three division games they have remaining.

The Bills have their share of “easy” opponents as well, starting with the Cleveland Browns this Monday. The Browns have been up and down all year, but do not have a very strong defense, and are starting a quarterback who has only played one NFL game. The home-field advantage on Monday Night, coupled with the Bills fired up to break out of this 3-game losing streak should give the Bills the win this week, and then they have Kansas City and San Francisco, as well as a game against the Broncos who have struggled. That would give them, quite possibly, 10 wins on the season.

Factoring in what we know now, I’m predicting the division will end up like this:

NY Jets 11-5
Buffalo 11-5
New England 9-7
Miami 9-7

I know I said that everyone could have 10 wins, but honestly I think the Dolphins and Patriots will have a harder time reaching that goal. Although, it is very, very possible. And, the only way the Bills end up with 11 wins is if they rediscover their run game, and bring balance back to their offense. (A little pass rush wouldn’t hurt either!)

The division goes to the Jets (even if the Bills win the rematch) thanks to their likely 4-2 division record (beating Miami in the final game of the season) with the best possible AFC East record for the Bills being 3-3.

That three-game winless stretch against the East was a crushing blow, even with a half-season remaining.

But in the end, a division with a 40-24 record would be pretty amazing. Considering last year (even with the historic 16-0 Patriots) the division was a meager 28-36!

This race should come down to the final weekend with both AFC East matchups playing a crucial role in the Division title and the Wild Card berth.

That is why they play the games!

(Footnote: The final division standing above could be quite different if the Pats beat the Steelers (I think Pittsburgh should win), and if the Dolphins can beat the Jets in the final game of the season. If that happens, it could be like this:

Buffalo 11-5
Miami 10-6
New England 10-6
NY Jets 10-6

Not sure who would win the tie-breakers between NY and NE. Head-to-head, Division, and Conference records would likely be the same. It’s gonna be a fun finish! End footnote.)

AFC East Games Schedule

One Very Meaningful Month

10/19 San Diego
10/26 @ Miami
11/2 New York Jets
11/9 @ New England
11/17 Cleveland

This Sunday the Bills host the San Diego Chargers. It’s a surprisingly difficult game to call. The Chargers would seem to have the upper hand talent-wise, but the Bills have many other advantages. Aside from being quite talented themselves, they also have the home field advantage, the time zone advantage (and no cross-country trip), they are coming off the bye, and a handful of other match-ups in their favor.

Still, the game could really go either way. And that doesn’t necessarily hurt the Bills.

Now, you always want to win. And, if they Bills pull off the win against the Chargers, that puts them in pretty good shape in the conference, having victories over the Jags and Chargers – two AFC playoff candidates. But if you take a look at the next month of games for the Bills, they could really put the team in a great position for their first playoff run in nine years.

From October 19th through November 17th, the Bills face five AFC opponents, three of those being their first AFC East contests of the 2008 season. If they can win each of those games, they would be almost a lock for a playoff spot. And of course, the opposite is true. If they should lose all or most of those games, it would be much more difficult, despite their 4-0 start.

Following the first game vs San Diego, the Bills head down to Miami to face the Dolphins in their first of three straight AFC East games. Miami has already beaten the Patriots and the Chargers, and gave Houston a tough game on the road recently. They are certainly improved over the 1-15 team they were last year. It will be a test for the Bills, especially being down in the heat of Miami in November. However, if the Bills are the team we think they are, they go into Miami, and leave with the win.

After that, the Bills host the New York Bretts … uh… Jets. The Jets certainly have a bit more… something? They have a decent receiving corp, a couple decent running backs, and a decent defense. But overall, they are still the Jets. Brett Farve is definitely the “X” factor, and can win any game he goes out to play. But they are still the Jets. The Bills need to win this game at home, and I believe they will.

That leaves the matchup I have been waiting for since the schedule game out. With half a season under their belts, our young, confident Bills will head to Foxboro, Massachusetts to take on the despised division rival, the Patriots. The Pats have won some ridiculous amount of games to the Bills ONE in the past many years. It’s time for that to change, and with Matt Cassell at QB, the Bills are in a much better position to go in and control the game, and leave with a big win over the Pats. The Patriots still have a decent team, but the Bills are better, and I will stick with my prediction that the Bills will win both games against New England this season. (Note: I made that prediction before Tom Brady went down with an injury for the entire season.)

That leaves the big Monday Night Football showdown at The Ralph against the Cleveland Browns. Last season, the Bills needed a win in Cleveland to have any shot at making the playoffs. They were met head on by a crazy blizzard and other such forces of nature, leading to a 8-0 loss to the Brownies. Was not at all what anyone was expecting, but perhaps this Nov 17th contest in Buffalo will turn out differently.

The Browns showed last week that they are still a talented team offensively. The Bills can score points as well. I’d expect a good battle between two up-and-coming AFC playoff hopefuls, and I would also expect the Bills to put on a show for the national audience. Much like they did vs Dallas last year, except this year, they will finish with a ‘W’.

If the Bills can have success as I describe above over the next month of Sundays (and a Monday) then at 9-1, or at least 8-2, they will be in great shape for their first trip tot he playoffs in nearly a decade. Following this 5-game stretch, the next two opponents are Kansas City, and then home against San Francisco.

Things are looking good for Bills fans.

A lot depends on this very meaningful month. How the Bills perform over that month should say a lot about them, and may nearly ensure that they will play in the second season.

That would be welcome news indeed.

News Offseason Schedule Toronto

Bills Announce 2008 Schedule

The Bills released their 2008 schedule today, and it includes another home game on Monday Night Football! The game against the Cowboys last season went over quite well, so that is no surprise that we would get another chance at the national stage (at The Ralph). And the game against Cleveland is one of the most anticipated of the season.

The Bills will open at home again this year, against the Seattle Seahawks on September 7th. That’s a 1:00pm game. There are four games scheduled for the 4:00 time slot. Three are road games, and the fourth is the “home” game at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

Miami will be the opponent for the Bills first ever regular season game north of the border. A bit of a surprise, as most thought the league would schedule one of the non-conference home games for the Toronto game. (I thought I remembered Ralph Wilson saying as much.) That game will be Sunday December 7th, and takes all the fun out of a Miami home game in December! (Isn’t the Rogers Centre a dome??)

Interestingly, the Bills will finish the season at home on December 28th against the New England Patriots. The first meeting between the two teams (in Foxboro, MA) doesn’t happen until November 9th. With three of the final four games being against division opponents, that last game against New England could potentially have a big impact on the playoff picture.

A Bills fan can dream… 🙂

The bye week comes after week five, so a tad on the early side. Three of the first five games are against NFC opponents: Seattle, St. Louis, and Arizona. The first division game will be October 26th, at Miami. That is the beginning of a three game stretch against the AFC East: home against New York, then at the Patriots.

The final six weeks of the NFL season are subject to the flex scheduling, so any of those games could be flexed to the Sunday night game. That includes the game against Miami in Toronto. Depending on the competitiveness of the game at that point in the season, that’s certainly a possibility.

It looks like a well laid out schedule at first glance. I always love this day… and hate it. Love seeing the schedule. It’s exciting. HATE that it’s still five months away!

But this time will pass quickly, and before you know it, we’ll be at The Ralph, cheering on our BUFFALO BILLS!!

Get your tickets now, and GO BILLS!!

[read Chris Brown’s article at]

NFL Playoffs Schedule

Playoffs? Oh, the Possibilities…

Yes folks, I am that crazy. Every year about this time, our Bills are somewhere near the .500 mark and visions of playoff dates dance in our heads. Well, in mine at least.

So I broke down the five contenders’ schedules today, and believe it or not, things are looking very promising for our Buffalo Bills!

First, let’s look at who is still in the race:

  1. New England: 12-0
  2. Indianapolis: 10-2
  3. Pittsburgh: 9-3
  4. Jacksonville: 8-4
  5. San Diego: 7-5
  6. Cleveland: 7-5
  7. Tennessee: 7-5
  8. Buffalo: 6-6
  9. Denver: 5-7
  10. Houston: 5-7

Wow! When you look at that list, what shot do the Bills have?? Assuming the Division winners are set (New England is, then Indy, Pittsburgh, and San Diego) that leaves the two wild card spots in contention for SIX teams! Ouch!

But let’s take a look at those six teams, and their schedules.

Denver & Houston
These two teams are at 5-7 and are going to need a LOT of help. Basically, I’m just being kind to their fans putting them on here. They would have to win out, and get some serious help from teams above them in order to make the playoffs. Let’s count them OUT.

That leaves four teams who are in the thick of the race. We’ll look at them one by one.

Let’s start from the top down.

Jacksonville (8-4)
Jacksonville beat the Bills so, they own the tie-breaker over us there. And, with a two-game lead, they are definitely in command for one of those two spots. Their remaining games include: Carolina, @ Pittsburgh, Oakland, and @ Houston. Three of those games could be tough, but I see the Jags winning three of those four. That would put them in the playoffs as the top wild card seed, finishing 11-5.

Cleveland (7-5)
With Cleveland losing to Arizona yesterday, the Bills are in a much better position against this team. Even if the Browns win all of their games except the game against Buffalo, both teams could end up 10-6, with the Bills owning the tie-breaker having defeated them. That makes the game on Dec. 16th pretty crucial for both teams’ playoff hunt. Cleveland plays @ NY Jets, Buffalo, @ Cincinnati, and finishes at home against San Francisco. I see them winning at least two, maybe three of those, finishing 9-7 or 10-6. OUT of the playoffs.

Tennessee (7-5)
Tennessee has been quietly efficient this year. Like everyone else, they have fought through injuries, suspensions, and other roster changes to be two games above .500. Vince Young can win a game at any time, and their defense plays tough, too. They have some pretty difficult games on their remaining schedule, however. They start this week at home against San Diego, then @ Kansas City, home vs. the NY Jets, then finish @ Indianapolis. It seems very likely that they will lose at least two of those, and I think they lose three. That makes then 8-8, and OUT of the playoffs.

Buffalo (6-6)
That leaves the Bills. Our injury-riddled Bills who have been starting rookies and first-year players who have no NFL experience, and are at the bottom of the league statistically on both offense and defense… and yet, they are 6-6. And surprisingly, they Bills are in a pretty good spot. Their remaining schedule includes: home vs. Miami, @ Cleveland, NY Giants, then they finish @ Philadelphia.

Here’s the key. If the Bills win out, they will make the playoffs. Because winning out puts us at 10-6, AND includes beating Cleveland (who could then finish no better than 10-6) the Bills really “control their own destiny” as the saying goes. (Of course, Tennessee could disrupt that with a surprisingly good finish.)

So with that look at the schedules and the standings, and assuming the Bills can play smart, efficient, productive football for four straight games, the Bills look to be in pretty good shape for ending their playoff-less drought!

Every game counts, and the biggest one will be two weeks from now in Cleveland.

Go Bills!!

Current Bills Games Schedule

Bills Week 1/Season Preview

And so it begins! After months of work the Buffalo Bills are finally ready to start their first official game of the 2007 season. At least they better be ready. The Bills schedule does not start soft. The Denver Broncos were a solid team last season and have some of the best corners in the league. Buffalo did not instill confidence in their fans during the preseason games, but the players are confident that when they unveil their full offensive package, fans will be surprised. Lets hope some of the tackling problems on defense were due to the preseason tendency to hold back and play safe. Drew Brees proved the other night that preseason has little to do with the regular season when his high powered preseason offense fell flat against a mediocre colts defense. Still the Bills left fans a bit concerned.

The 2007 season looks to be daunting for the Bills. Based on last season’s records the Bills have the toughest schedule in the league.

Fortunately for the Bills, this is 2007 and last season’s record is of little consequence. One need only look back to 2005 to see how quickly things can change in the NFL. Many of the Bills opponents had a worse record in 2006 than they did in 2005. While the Bills face many playoff teams from 2006, several of these matchups are against wildcard teams that were hardly daunting. (see the 8-8 Giants, 10-6 Eagles, 9-7 Cowboys and 10-6 Jets twice) In reality, the Bills only face 3 opponents that had daunting teams in 2006 and two of them are New England. The other would be Baltimore. On the other hand the Bills face 4 opponents that had 6 wins or fewer in 2006. The rest are in the 7-9 to 10-6 range. But thats all last year. Teams change.

The Bills certainly did their fair share of changing during the offseason. Buffalo cut lose 3 veterans on defense and totally revamped the offensive line. Fans were concerned that the Bills 75 million dollar o-line didn’t look better in the preseason. It will probably take a couple games to work out the kinks, but the talent is there where it hasn’t been in the past. Can they pull it together for the first game? Probably. The Denver defensive line is battered and not particularly menacing to begin with, so the pressure on the line will not be huge. Bills fans also barely got to see the true starting o-line during the pre-season. Jason Peters, Derrick Dockery, Melvin Fowler, Brad Butler and Langston Walker were rarely on the field at the same time during the preseason games. This was due to injuries to Butler and Fowler. No one should have been surprised when Butler was named the starter over Whittle (making veteran minimum and a career backup) and Duke Preston (was great in relief but not the answer as a starter). If the starting five can pull it together in time for the season opener, it will go a long way towards the Bills finding victory.

Losman has mostly looked like Losman through the preseason, but he has been running what the team calls “vanilla” offense. It would be nice to see better execution of the vanilla plays, but these kind of play calling really gives the defense the advantage. This is reflected in the preseason scores throughout the league. Despite the lack of game plan, Losman has been able to connect with all of his receivers for big gains. The Bills certainly look like the long ball champions. The question remains as to whether Losman can keep his head cool enough during games to make the short touch passes connect with their targets. If he can find a way to deliver the ball to more receivers the Bills offense could be explosive.

Lee Evans looks like he is ready to have a Pro Bowl season. He makes unbelievable plays for the ball, burns his defenders and seems to be in the zone with Losman. This is so obvious that teams are going to double team him without question. That means Roscoe Parrish, Josh Reed and Peerless Price need to make more plays to help loosen up the coverage. Of the three, Roscoe Parrish seems to be the one poised for a breakout season. Josh Reed is always showing flashes, but never seems to be able to consistently contribute. If he can find a way to be a bigger part of the receiving game or if Peerless Price can find his old form, the Bills passing game will be deadly.

Added to the receiving mix will be a little larger dose of Tight End. Last season the tight ends had to stay back to help Terrence Pennington pass protect on the right side. Now Pennington is gone and so is Cieslak who was clearly a blocking tight end. This shows that the Bills are confident enough in their new linemen to stock the roster with receiving tight ends. Robert Royal is capable of having a big impact in the passing game if he doesn’t have to block. Kevin Everett is supposedly a great receiving tight end who the Bills have hardly used because they mostly were using blockers at the position. We will see this season if he can really catch and run like they say he can.

Marshawn Lynch replaces Willis McGahee at running back and all of Buffalo is feeling good about the switch. McGahee had worn out his stay both by making obnoxious comments to the press and by underperforming on the field. The guy doesn’t have game and Marshawn Lynch does. Lynch is quick and hard to take down. During the preseason, he struggled at times, but when he was able to get positive yardage, it was usually for 6 yards plus. He is also a significant threat receiving out of the backfield. It will be exciting to watch this kid run this year. He also loves the city of Buffalo which always helps.

The Bills didn’t show much in the preseason games, but you could see signs of where it might be. It all hinges upon the line. If they can give Lynch a few holes and give Losman just a little time to pass, the Bills O will be tough to stop. I think the talent on this offensive line is strong enough that its a matter of when rather than if. This should be a pretty exciting offense.

The defense on the other hand is full of question marks. The defensive field general will be rookie linebacker Paul Posluszny. Already we see cause for concern. The Bills are depending on a rookie at the critical middle linebacker spot. Luckily for the Bills, Poz looks like the real deal and could end up a candidate for defensive rookie of the year. But the Bills are taking a big gamble here that will likely cost them at times even under best circumstances. With Angelo Crowell on the strong side and Coy Wire filling in for Keith Ellison on the weak side, the Bills have a fairly inexperienced linebacking corps. Will their youth and speed be a benefit or a hindrance? Like the offensive line, I think this group will be good by season’s end, but, how many games will it take for them to find a groove?

The linebackers’ inexperience would be less of a concern if the defensive line wasn’t also such a concern. Going into the preseason it seemed as though the Bills were pretty well set at defensive end, but and injury to Ryan Denney and a 4 game suspension for Anthony Hargrove have left the Bills with only their starters and some very green backups. It could be worse, at least Schobel and Kelsay are the healthy ones. But it will prove interesting during the first four weeks until Hargrove comes back. Aside from depth concerns the Bills look good at End. However the defensive tackles are questionable. The closest thing to proven talent that the Bills have at tackle is Larry Tripplett. Tripplett had a disappointing first season with the Bills but the hope is that he will be more effective with one season under his belt. He was also playing with a lot of rookies last year who also now have a year in the system. John McCargo has looked good when he plays but has had injury troubles. If he can stay healthy it will make a big difference for the Bills. McCargo seemed to be disrupting the offensive line on every snap in the preseason. The Bills need that to continue. Kyle Williams, Tim Anderson and Jason Jefferson will be sharing time at the other tackle spot. Williams had a solid rookie season and the Bills are hoping he will pick up where he left off. Anderson struggled last season and Jefferson is a virtual unknown although the coaches are high on him.

In the secondary, the Bills have two solid players with lots of depth at Safety. Ko Simpson and Donte Whitner both had successful rookie campaigns and seem to be rocking at the start of the season. Hopefully the rest of the defense can play well enough for these young stars to shine. They are going to need to play their best ball because, after the departure of Nate Clements, the Bills are a bit thin at Cornerback. If Aston Youboty can take the next step and become a starter during the season, the Bills will be in better shape. But for now, they are starting Terrence McGee who is a lot better at returning kicks than playing corner and Jason Webster. This is an area that shoudl be heavily exploited by every team the Bills play. They will be counting on a solid pass rush to keep too many balls from making it to the wide receivers. Things could get ugly if Youboty, Kiwaukee Thomas or Jabari Greer don’t breakout.

If you were going to use one word to describe the 2007 Buffalo Bills it would be “young”. “Young” isn’t necessarily bad but it leaves a lot of question marks and opens the door for stupid mistakes and sloppy play. Dick Jauron and his staff will have their work cut out for them. Regardless, I think the Bills will improve this season. The reason why is the fact that Jauron already showed last season that he can get production out of young players. The Bills had 6 rookies start last season at one point or another. In some cases they actually looked better than the veterans they replaced. This is why the team looks the way it does now. Out with the old, in with the new. Its going to be a thrilling ride because this is not the type of team that can be comfortable holding a lead in the fourth quarter. They will make mistakes, but they can win games. The schedule is not as bad as it looks. Here are my predictions prior to game 1.

Week 1. Denver. The Bills will actually win this one by a larger margin than most predict. Jay Cutler has only played in 5 NFL games. He lost 3. He’s 2000 miles from his home stadium. It’s kickoff sunday. The 12th man will be raging. Cutler will struggle and throw 3 interceptions despite gaining a fair number of yards. This is what the Bills’ struggling defense needs. Marshawn Lynch gets 100 yards on a depleted Denver line. Lee Evans gets 2 TDs. Special teams shines. Losman looks “Crisp”. Bills 31 Broncos 14

Week 2. Pittsburgh. Despite attempts by ESPN to brainwash all of America into thinking otherwise, the Steelers were 8-8 last year and struggled often, mostly because of Roethlisberger’s interceptions, tops in the league. This year they have a new head coach. There is talent there but the Steelers play sloppy. Maybe later in the season this would turn out differently. The Bills have a slow start due to their cocky bravado after the dominant win the week before. Bills 21 Steelers 17

Week 3. New England. Every year the Bills come close to beating the Patriots in the first matchup of the season. This year the Bills catch the Pats on a bad week and get away with an ugly win in difficult weather conditions. Bills 10 Patriots 9

Week 4. NY Jets. The Jets got lucky last season. The Bills outplayed them twice but only came away with one win. This year will be different. Thomas Jones is no Hall of Famer. Mangini is over rated. The Bills will miss the 150 yards on the ground McGahee would bring to a jets game, but find Lynch’s 100 yards on the ground and 75 in the air to be a suitable replacement. Bills 27 Jets 14

Week 5. Dallas. The Bills are getting a lot of press at this point for starting the season 4-0. Thats when the Bills let it get to their head and collapse embarassingly on the national stage in their first Monday night game in a long time. Cowboys 31 Bills 7

Week 6. BYE. The Bills lick their wounds after the embarassing defeat.

Week 7. Baltimore. The Bills put up a good fight but get outplayed by a better team in the Ravens. McGahee is a non factor and gets spelled heavily, as he will most of the season. Ravens 28 Bills 10

Week 8. NY Jets. Nothing like the jets to cheer up a team on a losing streak. Bills 21 Jets 3

Week 9. Cincinnati. I hate spelling Cincinnati. The Bills like playing the Bengals. They seem to have their number, even when the Bengals have a much better team. Turnovers and Special teams make this one a fun watch. Bills 28 Bengals 17

Week 10. Miami. The Dolphins are rebuilding and fairly well imploded by this point in the season. The Bills luck out by playing the Dolphins late. Bills 21 Dolphins 17

Week 11. New England. Usually the second time the Patriots play the Bills each year, the Bills get blown out. This year is no different. See Bill outcoach Dick. Patriots 38 Bills 14.

Week 12. Jacksonville. The Jaguars never are sure who their quarterback is, but they manage to beat the Bills anyway. It happens again in an exciting one. Jaguars 21 Bills 17

Week 13. Washington. The Redskins aren’t that good. The Bills win this yawner. Bills 14 Redskins 10.

Week 14. Miami. The Dolphins put up a fight but turn the ball over too many times. The Bills steal a game with special teams. Bills 17 Dolphins 10

Week 15. Cleveland. Cleveland will be better than people think, but they will still be bad. Bills 28 Browns 24

Week 16. NY Giants. Eli has a rough season without Tiki Barber. The Giants are talking about getting a new coach and the Bills win pretty handily. Bills 21 Giants 7

Week 17. Philadelphia. With a shot at the division on the line the Bills lose dramatically and fin themselves a wildcard with broken confidence. Eagles 27 Bills 6

The Bills finish a surprising 11-5 but are still second in the division. They lose their first playoff game in the 21st century. Its not impossible for the Bills to sweep the Jets and the Dolphins. They nearly did last year. Going through the games its not out of the question. The Bills have to beat the Patriots once to truly be considered any kind of contender.

I’m pretty sure I have a lot of angry email coming my way. Send it to
The season hasn’t started yet, its anybody’s guess.

Current Bills Schedule Training Camp

Special Dates at Training Camp

[The following is from Chris Brown’s blog at]


  • On Aug. 4 it’s Junior Bills Backers day for the youngsters where a special day is planned for the kids at camp. So sign your kids up at
  • On Aug. 7 it’s Alumni day where a lot of Bills alumni are expected to be in, so if you can make it out that day have your autograph books and cameras at the ready.
  • On Aug. 13 Jim Kelly and J.P. Losman will be at camp to promote the Enlyten SportStrips product.
  • On Aug. 14 it’s the Turkey Hill ice cream sampling day.
  • On Aug. 15 there will be a Jet Blue on field promotion and a Tim Horton’s Iced Coffee giveaway.
Categories Schedule

Training Camp Schedule Released

Seven night practices, all in full pads, highlight the 2007 Bills training camp schedule at St John Fisher College. The Bills will open camp on July 26th with three straight two-a-day practices! Things are ramping up… football season is around the corner! Check out for more.

Training Camp Daily Practice Schedule