2012 NFL Season

Meet The Goodells: Buffalo Bills

 

Not if you can’t win in the AFC East…

BUFFALO BILLS:

2011 RECORD – 6-10:  Following their first seven games, Buffalo opened the season at 5-2 with impressive home wins over the Patriots and Dream Team-y Eagles. Despite their two losses by a total of six points, trouble lurked in the numbers. In between a pair of solid defensive outings against Kansas City in the season opener and versus Washington weeks later, Buffalo’s defense labored to stop the opponent. They surrendered at least 400 yards in four consecutive games. Life was still good though. They were in the thick of the AFC East race by the season’s halfway point. Ah yes, then there was that contract. Buffalo’s quick start resulted in the team signing Ryan Fitzpatrick to a Kolbian six-year, $59 million deal with $24 million guaranteed . Then, his numbers sharply declined in the subsequent weeks. All of the blame doesn’t lie with the Harvard product. Running back Fred Jackson, who was in the middle of a career year, broke his leg in a 35-8 loss to Miami in Week 11. Stupid injuries.

LAS VEGAS ODDS TO WIN SUPER BOWL XLVII: 30/1

DON’T TAKE THIS GUY IN YOUR FANTASY DRAFT: Fred Jackson. The former Coe College star is at the heart of Buffalo’s rushing attack and his injury expedited the team’s rapid decline during the season’s second half. Overall, he is an unusual case. Jackson has a quasi-Chris Weinke vibe since he was a 26-year-old NFL rookie  thanks to a few years toiling around in an indoor league and NFL Europe. Thus, the NFL wear and tear isn’t quite as pronounced. He is coming off of a fractured fibula injury that ended his 2011 season while he cranked out career-best totals through 10 games. Nonetheless, he is a risk and here is why:

FRACTURED FIBULA IN ’11 + CJ SPILLER + 31 YEARS OLD (31 is still 31 in my book) = LET THIS GUY SLIDE IN THE DRAFT.

He will not be an abject failure and may start out the season well again but we’ve seen the best of Fred Jackson.

NOTABLE GAME: December 2  vs. Jacksonville: If Blaine Gabbert is walking into your building, it’s going to be a good day for the home team.

BILL YOU SHOULD FOLLOW ON TWITTER: Stevie Johnson. This is a no-contest…

No, he is not going to tweet about the team vibe after a loss in Miami.

Well then…

Stevie after dark.

WHY THEY CAN’T WIN THE SUPER BOWL:  An eastern divide. One of their biggest issues is winning within the AFC East. The road to the division title still goes through Foxborough and Buffalo hasn’t exactly done much to challenge that theory. Since Chan Gailey took over as head coach in 2010, Buffalo is a mystifying 2-10 in AFC East games. Surely, a pass should be granted for losing to the Patriots. Even if the Pats are eliminated from the mix, Buffalo’s record is 1-7 against the Jets and Dolphins. Unless Buffalo is in straight baller mode against the rest of their schedule that includes games against AFC South and NFC West opposition, they will not sniff a playoff berth without improving against the AFC East.

This might be the year that changes for Buffalo. The Jets are in circus mode already with Tim Tebow running the wildcat and Antonio Cromartie getting practice reps as a receiver; Miami will play hard but is still undermanned; and New England’s defense is suspect and their offensive line resembles the turnstiles at Gillette Stadium at the moment.

Hope springs eternal…maybe.

SONG THAT EMBODIES THE 2012 BILLS: MIDDLE OF THE ROAD – THE PRETENDERS

The AFC is a hot mess. After the contenders (Baltimore, New England, Pittsburgh, Houston), there is a sizable drop in competition.

Either Denver or San Diego is likely to win the AFC West, which leaves a cluster of mediocrity for one playoff spot in the AFC.

Cincinnati is coming off of a playoff appearance but they seemed out of their element in a postseason loss to Houston.  They are not likely to sneak up on anybody.

On paper, this might be the worst Jets team of the Rex Ryan era.

The rest of the conference is wildly average.

The playoffs are realistic for Buffalo but they’ll need Ryan Fitzpatrick to earn his lofty contract and for defensive end Mario Williams, who received a record-setting $50 million guaranteed to join the Bills, to anchor a previously unreliable defense.

Buffalo’s rise from the AFC’s cesspool of mediocrity is certainly possible with a less than heavyweight schedule but it will not be easy.

Categories: 2012 NFL Season, buffalo bills

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2 replies »

  1. Way to leave out the cracked ribs that Fitz suffered in the Washington game (which, btw, happened mere days after he re-upped the contract). Hey, feel free to go on believing a piece of paper made him suddenly suck, though.

  2. Eh, I don’t know about the injury bit. It probably impacted him but he’s out there and many guys were banged up. I could easily make the case the only reasons New York won the Super Bowl were because of Ted Ginn’s knee, Gronk’s ankle, and Tuck falling on Brady’s shoulder after he just finished committing arson against the Giants D during the Super Bowl.

    Point received but I’m not sure I’m going to throw him a parachute because of it. The only person who truly knows how he handled the contract is…Mr. Fitzpatrick. You’re right. Blaming his play solely on the contract is a bit short-sighted but he opened himself up to such criticism.

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