At one point in 2011, the Bills were 5-2 and looked like a surprise playoff team. They finished the season by dropping eight of their last nine games. A 6-10 record was beside their name at the end of the year. What happened?
During the last nine games of the season, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had a TD/INT ratio of 10/16. They couldn’t keep the ball and their defense gave up 32 points per game. The loss of Fred Jackson due to injury made their offense look even worse.
Is Jackson and C.J. Spiller ready to be a top-tier rushing attack? Can Fitzpatrick rebound from a poor second-half?
Key Additions: DE Mario Williams, DE Mark Anderson, QB Vince Young, WR Stephon Gilmore, OT Cordy Glenn and WR T.J. Graham.
Key Losses: WR Roscoe Parrish, CB Drayton Florence, OT Demetress Bell, CB Reggie Corner and K Brandon Coutu.
Non-Division Schedule: AFC South and NFC West
Fantasy Sleeper: WR Naaman Roosevelt – Buffalo’s wide receiver corps is an improved group. Stevie Johnson and David Nelson are the leaders, but after them it is unknown who the #3 or #4 receivers will be when the season begins. Naaman Roosevelt, Brad Smith, Stephon Gilmore and Ruvell Martin will battle for those two spots. Roosevelt is a local fan favorite since he was born in Buffalo and went to college there. Fitzpatrick has the green light to air it out and he will spread the ball around.
Team Analysis: Fitzpatrick has an entire off-season to work with his receiving corps (something he didn’t have last season), it will make a difference. He had some new faces last year and when the defenses started to catch up to their passing attack, they didn’t have any answers. Jackson and Spiller will be a dynamic rushing attack this year. Both running backs have excellent hands, so Fitzpatrick will have two safety nets during his check-downs. Buffalo’s Mario Williams signing was the biggest surprise this off-season. They struggled getting to the quarterback last year and with Williams and Mark Anderson coming in, that facet will improve drastically. They lost Parrish on special teams, but rookie Gilmore could be a punt/kickoff return star. The Bills learned a lot last season from the ups and downs. They will flip their 6-10 record and be a playoff contender in 2012.
2012 Wins Over/Under Line: 7.5 (Prediction: OVER)
2012 Projected Win/Loss Record: 10-6