TSN TV Schedule TSN2 TV Schedule
NFL

2012 NFL Preview: New-look Bills looking to make noise

{eot}
Ben Fisher, TSN.ca
8/27/2012 12:56:19 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

Reasons to Believe

1. Tremendous Off-Season – The Bills had one of the best off-seasons in the league this year, with almost everything going their way. Buffalo landed the second biggest free agent in DE Mario Williams while also signing 10-sack rusher Mark Anderson to pair him with. They also re-signed their top WR Stevie Johnson long term, and even nailed it in the draft, with early reports being very favourable for 10th overall selection Stephon Gilmore.

2. Defensive Line – With Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams in the middle, Buffalo was already in the midst of building a strong defensive line before accelerating the process tenfold with the Williams and Anderson signings. Combine that with solid depth (Chris Kelsay, Dwan Edwards) and the Bills' defensive line will be one of the top units in the league.

3. Fred Jackson Returns – Jackson was a giant surprise for the Bills last season, racking up 938 yards and six touchdowns in just 10 games. Jackson was one of the league's top backs before being sidelined, but the injury did allow C.J. Spiller to break out a little for the Bills (not sixth-overall pick break out, but break out nonetheless). Now the tandem returns healthy in 2012, and could complement each other well.

Reasons to Doubt

1. High Expectations – Buffalo started last year 5-2; then expectations rose and the team buckled. Expectations are even higher now – the only thing that could raise them further would be new backup QB Vince Young dubbing their free agent class a dream team. Will the Bills be better-equipped to deal with the pressure this time around? For their part, they've welcomed the great expectations so far in pre-season.

2. Inconsistency at QB – After Ryan Fitzpatrick's fast start, he was rewarded with a long-term deal that he did little to justify the rest of the season. Fitzpatrick has certainly shown glimpses, but he also led the league in interceptions with 23 last year. With most position groups looking primed for a playoff run in Buffalo, the 29-year-old quarterback could be considered the weak link.

3. Trouble in the AFC East – Buffalo has struggled mightily against the entire AFC East in recent years, and of most concern is their record against the Jets. The Bills, who figure to battle the Jets for second in the AFC East and a wildcard spot, are 0-4 against New York the past two seasons and have just one win against the team since Rex Ryan took over as head coach.

What to Expect

Buffalo enters 2012 as one of the league's favourites to make a splash, but the Bills are still in the same division as the Patriots, so the Wild Card is a more attainable goal. The good news however, is that with a strong running game, a solid defence, and a quarterback that could put up big numbers, fans in Buffalo can finally expect a legitimate shot at the post-season.

Mario Williams (Photo: The Canadian Press)

zoom

(Photo: The Canadian Press)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story


2014 NFL Draft

The Houston Texans selected defensive end Jadeveon Clowney first overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.


Round-by-Round Picks: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Hall Of Fame

Ray Guy, Derrick Brooks, Walter Jones, Michael Strahan, Andre Reed, and Aeneas Williams, headlined this year's Hall of Fame class. More...

Podcasts

TSN 1050: The Bryan Hayes Show: July 28 - John Kryk

SunMedia NFL Columnist, John Kryk joined Bryan Hayes to discuss the potential of Manziel & EJ Manuel's struggles in camp.

TSN 1050: The Bryan Hayes Show: July 23 - Jim Trotter

ESPN NFL Analyst, Jim Trotter joined Bryan Hayes to discuss Tony Dungy's comments about Michael Sam, Brett Favre's Packers legacy & Johnny Manziel.

TSN 1050: Gamenight: July 22 - John Kryk

NFL Columnist John Kryk of Sun Media joins Gamenight to give his training camp rundown of the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots and New York Giants.


More Podcasts

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television