Monday, August 13, 2012

32 in 32: Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills
Read the introduction here
Read the Panthers preview here
Kansas City Chiefs tomorrow

2011 Record: 6-10

Key Acquisitions: Mark Anderson, Stephon Gilmore, Cordy Glenn, Mario Williams, Vince Young
Key Departures: Demetress Bell, Drayton Florence, Reggie Torbor

The defense is greatly improved from last year with the upgrades on the defensive line. They also picked a cornerback (Stephon Gilmore) in the first round of the draft. The Bills could be a playoff team, but Ryan Fitzpatrick is not good enough for them to get too far. I'll tell you know that they are not winning a Super Bowl. They beat the Patriots last year. The Patriots.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is an average quarterback. He looks great at times, but most of the time, he's just alright. He's not hurting the team, nor is he helping them. His arm is very reliable, and he was leading this team in the right direction before everyone got hurt last season. Bills fans better hope that he doesn't get hurt again because then the poor-man's Tim Tebow (and I don't think Tebow is very good), Vince Young will be the starter.

Fred Jackson was the best running back in the NFL last year before he got hurt. He was playing completely out of his mind, and no one knew where it came from. He's always been decent, but that was just amazing. He's not going to be that good again, but I think there is a new Fred Jackson. He's a better runner now. C.J. Spiller looked nice in Jackson's absence last year.

Steve Johnson is a great young receiver on the rise. He's a dynamic athlete and he has great hands. He will be very beneficial to this offense. Outside of him, I like David Nelson. He is a good receiver to have on a team. After Nelson, they have a bunch of extra guys such as Ruvell Martin, Marcus Easley, and Derek Hagan. All can be contributors on NFL teams, but should never be featured. They also have Wildcat QB extraordinaire Brad Smith, who was a QB in college. Not the best receiver, but he can be utilized very nicely on trick plays. Never should have left the Jets.

Eric Wood, Andy Levitre, and Kraig Urbik are all very good offensive lineman. They were a big part of why the Bills offense was averaging 30 points a game at the beginning of the season. Cordy Glenn is a young lineman with a lot of potential. If he can prove to be as good as he can be.

This front seven could be the best in football. Marcell Dareus  and Kyle Williams will do a very good job manning the middle in this 4-3 defense. Dareus was dealing with a couple of different injuries last season, so if he's completely healthy, he'll be even better than he was. He was pretty good. Mark Anderson had his breakout season last year with the Patriots, and he showed that he possesses the always coveted ability to get after the guy under center for the opposing team. Oh yeah and Mario Williams. I've heard that he's pretty good. I have no idea why the Texans didn't completely overpay to keep him. Every team in the NFL can use Mario Williams, no matter the price. In addition to those four guys, Shawne Merriman is going to be used at both the defensive end and linebacker positions this year. He'll only be playing in certain packages, which can maximize his effectiveness. Arthur Moats, Nick Barnett, and Kirk Morrison are a very good trio of linebackers. Barnett's health can be a problem, but he looks to be healthy now.

We all know what to expect from Terrence McGee by now. He's been the same guy for his whole career. He's always been the grizzly veteran (yes, even when he was a rookie) who is a decent cover corner and above average playmaker. Leodis McKelvin isn't great at coverage himself, but he knows how to get himself some interceptions. Jairus Byrd is a very good safety. Stephon Gilmore looks like he'll be a turnover creator. It will be exciting to watch the returns on all of the interceptions that they'll be grabbing.

Special Teams
Rian Lindell and Brian Moorman have been the kicker and punter, respectively, for what seems like an eternity. Moorman is very skilled at pinning the opposition near the goal line. Lindell has always possessed one of the more reliable feet in the NFL. The return game can score. With a combination of Brad Smith, Leodis McKelvin, and Terrence McGee, I see some good field position for the offense and some extra points on the board.

10-6, 2nd in AFC East

**NOTE** As a Jets fan, that was extremely painful to write.

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