Buffalo Bills Predictions

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The Bills are coming off yet another disappointing season. Buffalo managed to go just 6-10, and have now not been to the playoffs in 13 years. There wasn’t a lot of positives to take from 2012, as the Bills six wins all came against teams who finished the season with a losing record.

Last year’s failure can be pinpointed on one of the worst defenses in franchise history and a -10 finish in the turnover department. The Bills were expecting big time improvements with the additions of defensive ends Mario Williams and Mark Anderson, but that simply wasn’t the case. Buffalo couldn’t stop opposing teams from running the football right down their throats. As a result they allowed the second most points, third most yards and the most first downs in team history. It certainly didn’t help the defense that offense turned the ball over 34 times (2nd most in AFC). To no surprise head coach Chan Gailey was fired at the end of the season.

Last Season
AFC East
Record
ATS Record
Home ATS
Road ATS
Over/Under
4th
6-10
8-8
6-2
2-6
9-6-1
Offense Rank
Defense Rank
Turnover Margin
Points For
Points Against
19th
10th
+3
21.2
24.2
2014 Roster Changes
Draft Picks
WR Sammy Watkins, OT Cyrus Kouandjio, ILB Preston Brown, CB Ross Cockrell, G/OT Cyril Richardson
Additions
RB Anthony Dixon, WR Mike Williams, G Chris Williams, OLB Keith Rivers, ILB Brandon Spikes, CB/S Corey Graham
Losses
QB Kevin Kolb, WR Stevie Johnson, DE/DT Alex Carrington, S Jairus Byrd
2013 Preview
2014 Buffalo Bills Schedule
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
9/7 @ Bears
+6
0.29
9/14 Dolphins
-1
0.51
9/21 Chargers
-1
0.51
9/28 @ Texans
+5
0.32
10/5 @ Lions
+7.5
0.22
10/12 Patriots
+3.5
0.36
10/19 Vikings
-2.5
0.55
10/26 @ Jets
+1
0.49
Week 9 BYE
-
-
11/9 Chiefs
+2
0.47
11/13 @ Dolphins
+4.5
0.33
11/23 Jets
-2.5
0.55
11/30 Browns
-2.5
0.55
12/7 @ Broncos
+11.5
0.12
12/14 Packers
+4.5
0.33
12/21 @ Raiders
-1
0.51
12/28 @ Patriots
+8.5
0.20
Estimated Wins: 6.31

The Bills will get to play four of their first six at home with a couple of road games against the Jets and Browns but that doesn’t figure to translate into a strong start. Those four games at Ralph Wilson Stadium come against the Patriots, Panthers, Ravens and Bengals. Simply getting one win during this stretch could prove to be difficult.

Oddsmakers certainly don’t like the Bills chances of improving on last year’s record. They currently have Buffalo favored in just three games all season. They aren’t expected to be favored in a game until a Week 9 home game against the Chiefs and I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up being an underdog in that one. Another game where they are favored is a Week 9 showdown at Jacksonville . While the Jaguars figure to be one of the worst teams in the league, nothing is guaranteed on the road in the NFL.

What really makes the Bills schedule so difficult is that all of their non-division home games come against teams who either made the playoffs last year or are expected to be in the hunt in 2013. It’s not out of the question that the Bills could end up winning just one or two games at home this season.

Odds
Regular Season Win Total
to Win the AFC
to Win Super Bowl XLVIX
6.5
35 to 1
125 to 1
Odds Courtesty of Bovada
Predictions

The Bills have failed miserably at trying to find a head coach since that last playoff appearance in 1999, but are excited about their recent hire of Doug Marrone, who spent the last three seasons as the head coach at Syracuse. Marrone also has coaching experience at the NFL level. He spent a couple years as the offensive line coach with the Jets and was the offensive coordinator for three season in New Orleans under Sean Payton.

Buffalo also decided that they had seen enough of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. While it appears veteran Kevin Kolb will open the season as the starter, they believe the future of this franchise is rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel, who the Bills selected with the 16th overall pick. Considering the Bills are in the midst of yet another major rebuilding phase, I would expect to see Manuel on the field by the end of the season.

Look for Buffalo to rely heavily on their ground game, as they have quite a combo in the backfield with C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. Spiller emerged into one of the elite offensive playmakers in the league last season. He rushed for 1,244 yards and caught 43 passes for another 459 yards. His 6.0 ypc was second only to Adrian Peterson. Jackson was limited to just 437 rushing yards last season, but missed six games due to injury.

The key for Buffalo will be how they adapt to the schemes of new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. Pettine will run a similar hybrid attack to what you see the Ravens and Jets run. The big question is whether or not Pettine will be able to get this unit to put more pressure on the quarterback. Outside of Mario Williams, who started to show flashes of his old self in days with the Texans, the Bills don’t have much in terms of sack artist. While Anderson was limited to just six games due to a knee injury, he was awful when he was on the field. They added free agent outside linebacker Manny Lawson, but he hasn’t registered more than 2.5 sacks in a single season since 2009.

The strength of the defense will once again be the Bills secondary, where they are loaded with young talent. They have one of the top free safeties in the game in Jarius Bryd and a couple of emerging playmakers at corner in Leodis McKelvin and Stephon Gilmore. Expected to be added to the mix this year is strong safety Da’Norris Searcy.

This year’s Bills team reminds me a lot of the Kansas City Chiefs last year. They got a lot of talent sprinkled throughout their roster, but lack where it matters the most at starting quarterback. While I think Manuel could end up being the franchise player they are hoping for, I don’t think he’s going to have instant success like was saw in 2012 with Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson. When you don’t have strong quarterback play, it’s very hard to win at this level. Add in what looks to be a difficult schedule and I just don’t see this team winning a lot of games in 2013.

Projections
AFC East Finish
Division Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
4th
1-5
3-13
Under 6.5
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About the Author: Jimmy Boyd is known for his consistency. He's a proven winner in college and pro football, college and pro basketball and pro baseball. He finished as the No. 1 ranked MLB handicapper in 2007 by earning $1,000/game bettors $50,050. He also finished as the No. 1 ranked basketball handicapper in the 2008-09 season, profiting $1,000/game bettors 38,530. His basketball plays have banked $1,000/game bettors nearly $80,000 the last five years. Check out Jimmy's premium picks for tonight!
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