There are a lot of new faces that followed Ryan to Buffalo. They made some trades and signed some good players for his system. The most important acquisition was the trade that netted them former Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy.
The AFC East is expected to be a fun race for the division. The Patriots are always the favorite until a team knocks them off. The Dolphins looked to be improved across the board and Buffalo should keep the race tight. We will omit the Jets from this discussion.
Are the Bills Mafia happy with Matt Cassel as their starting quarterback?
Here is the 2015 NFL team preview for the Buffalo Bills.
2014 Win/Loss Record: 9-7
Key Additions: WR Percy Harvin, QB Matt Cassel, QB Tyrod Taylor, LB IK Enemkpali, OG Richie Incognito, QB Matt Simms, FB John Conner & FB Jerome Felton
Key Losses: RB C.J. Spiller, LB Kiki Alonso, TE Scott Chandler, S Da’Norris Searcy, LB Keith Rivers, TE Lee Smith, QB Jeff Tuel, RT Erik Pears, OLB Larry Dean, LT Chris Hairston, CB Jonte Green, OG Chris Williams, WR Caleb Holley & WR Justin Brown
2015 Draft Picks: CB Ronald Darby, OG John Miller, RB Karlos Williams, OLB Tony Steward, TE Nick O’Leary & WR Dez Lewis
Non-Division Schedule: AFC South, NFC East & (Kansas City/Cincinnati)
Fantasy Sleeper: WR Robert Woods – It’s easy to get lost in the fog when you line up next to Percy Harvin and Sammy Watkins. Woods will get a lot of single-coverage this season. He’s a big target and should also get some red zone looks. Woods may not be a ‘sexy’ fantasy player, but if you miss out on Watkins or Harvin in your draft, Woods is worth a late-round gamble.
Offense – QB Matt Cassel, RB LeSean McCoy, WR Sammy Watkins, WR Percy Harvin, WR Robert Woods, TE Charles Clay, LT Cordy Glenn, LG Richie Incognito, C Eric Wood, RG John Miller & RT Seantrel Henderson
Defense – DE Mario Williams, DT Marcell Dareus, DT Kyle Williams, DE Jerry Hughes, OLB Nigel Bradham, MLB Preston Brown, OLB Manny Lawson, CB Stephon Gilmore, CB Leodis McKelvin, SS Corey Graham & FS Aaron Williams
Team Analysis: There’s a lot of hype surrounding the Bills this season. They hired out-spoken head coach Rex Ryan and made possibly the biggest offseason trade that landed them running back LeSean McCoy. They have some beasts on defense that can get to the quarterback and their run defense should also be good. Their biggest question mark is at the most important position, quarterback. Matt Cassel has led teams to the postseason before, but if he goes down with an injury, EJ Manuel or Tyrod Taylor will take over. Taylor has looked very good so far in camp, but can he be leaned upon in crunch time? Is it too early to put the ‘bust’ tag on Manuel? Buffalo will win some big games this year, but I predict some growing pains. There are a lot of new pieces on offense and it could take time to gel as a unit.
2015 Wins Over/Under Line: 8.5 (Prediction: UNDER)
2015 Projected Win/Loss Record: 8-8 (3rd in AFC East)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.