2013 Record: 4-8
The Bills were one of the bigger disappointments in the NFL last year as a rebuilt, expensive new defense was torched by the Jets in Week 1 for 48 points. The Bills started the season 3-6 and gave up a combined 89 points to the Patriots in two meetings. They ranked 31st in rushing defense as teams lined up rushing plays all day against a Bills team that couldn’t keep rushers to minimal yards. It’ll be a struggle to improve out there too, as Buffalo may lose linebacker Nick Barnett and lost safety George Wilson. It didn’t help that they drafted offensively in the first round, going for E.J. Manuel instead of linebacker Jarvis Jones, although they did get Kiko Alonso at linebacker in the second round. If the Bills struggle this year, it’s because of this defense. Mario Williams and Leodis McKelvin can’t do it all by themselves.
The Bills’ pick of Manuel was highly controversial. Many scouts have questions about his work ethic and pure throwing ability, and others believe the Bills put too much stock into a workout he did in cold weather in which he was highly impressive. The Bills also are bad at developing quarterbacks, like 2004’s J.P. Losman when they could have had Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, or Philip Rivers. But they set up Manuel with rookie receivers Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin to with Stevie Johnson, so he has big-time playmakers there, and at running back, C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson combined for more than 1,600 rushing yards. The offense could be pretty great, but it’s going to have to be tremendous to outscore the troublesome defense. New coach Doug Marrone has eight years of NFL coaching experience, but never as a head coach, and he’s an offensive mind. While that may be good for developing Manuel, it may not be what they need right now. But if you like offense, which most fans do nowadays, make sure you get your tickets from Gold Coast Tickets so you can be at Ralph Wilson Stadium to watch the game live!