Playoffs in the grasp of the Bills
With the NFL season coming back in two weeks, every team has a record of 0-0 and all have legit playoff chances (even the Raiders). However this is not the case when the season starts, some of the teams will instead being fighting for the #1 pick to get Clowney and the playoffs will be an afterthought.
For the Bills, getting into the playoffs is realistically in their grasp. First, start with the offense. The offense is an up-tempo west coast offense similar to what Doug Marrone used at Syracuse. Leading this offense will be 2013 Bills 1st round pick EJ Manuel, a pick which was heavily criticized. Despite the criticism, EJ has looked to be the best QB on the Bills and has been the most comfortable in this up-tempo offense. Helping EJ will be SJ (Stevie Johnson) and CJ (CJ Spiller), both of which will help ease the pressure off of EJ as he adjust from playing in the ACC to the NFL. Along with SJ at receiver are a bunch of young receivers in TJ Graham, Robert Woods, and Marquis Goodwin. These receivers have yet to show it in the NFL but they have the potential to make this receiving core one of the best in the NFL in years to come.[dropcap].[/dropcap]
In the backfield CJ will carry the rock and will make fantasy owners jump for joy. Helping him will be a healthy Fred Jackson and with EJ running the option (something he excelled at while at FSU) these three can form an explosive running game. With a bunch of talent in the skill positions and an offensive line that is above average, this offense has the potential to be very explosive and make many defensive coordinators cringe.
The Defense has also undergone major changes. Now running the defense is Mike Pettine who for the past few years ran the Jets Defense which was the lone bright spot for them. He brings an aggressive defense which will be a breath of fresh air in Buffalo. With this aggressive style of play, a good secondary will be needed and the Bills just got a little better there when Jairius Byrd signed his franchise tender and returned to the team. He will help a questionable secondary that outside of Stephon Gilmore, does not put much fear to the offenses.
The front seven is a potential concern, especially with the new scheme change to a 3-4 but through preseason, it has not looked to be a major problem.
Overall, the Bills have a shot to make it this year.
The division will be locked up by the Patriots but the two WCs are wide open. Only five teams really are in play for it, the Steelers, Ravens, Colts, Dolphins, and Chiefs and they all have issues of their own. Also the idea of a rookie QB not having success has been thrown out the window. RG3 and Russell Wilson led their teams to the playoffs, both had a very simplified playbook early on and relied on the run game until expanding the playbook in the end. The Bills can do the same with EJ, they have the running back to do it and if their defense steps up, they can win enough games to get into WC range. If EJ does not turn the ball over and shows improvement week after week, it is not hard to imagine that this team gets on a roll near the end of the year.
For anyone who doubts the Bills and thinks they will be awful and have no shot, just look at the Colts last year.
Written by: ArcherNoles1863