Bills Season Preview
again my faithful followers, it is the master Roscoe here
again to give you the best sports information in the free
world. Western New York has been waiting 9 months for opening
day of the NFL season, and it is finally here. In particular,
everyone is waiting for the start of the J.P. Losman era.
I broke the news that the Bills were going to go with Losman
over incumbent Drew Bledsoe, the fans have been debating if
the young gun will be the star they all hope for. On the street,
people come up and discuss the future of the team with me
all the time. “Roscoe,” they say, “he seems
to be such a good guy; I hope he does well.” Many feel
he is the savior; others feel he is nothing more than Doug
Flutie with an extra inch or two. At this point, there is
no way to determine which description is accurate. Unfortunately
there is also no way to disguise inexperience, and despite
everything the Bills may design and try, Losman will make
mistakes this year. Yet to be determined is if he will make
enough positive plays and if the Bills have enough talent
elsewhere to make the playoffs and return to the glory years
of the early ‘90s.
predictions are as wide as the Niagara Gorge. From 4-12 to
12-4, fans across the region are split as to how good this
team will be. Although anything is possible, the likelihood
of 12 wins is remote, as is the chance of losing a dozen games.
The Bills finished 9-7 in 2004 with a rookie head coach and
first year staff. The staff and the team are both improved
from last year. The Bills lost three starters of last year’s
team: Bledsoe, Jonas Jennings and Pat Williams. All were important,
but keeping the rest of the team and the development of younger
players have made the Bills better than last year.
easy thing is to say if Losman just doesn’t lose the
games, the Bills will be better without Bledsoe and compete
for a playoff spot. That isn’t really the situation.
I agree this team is better without Bledsoe, but that does
not mean they will win more games. Last season the Bills schedule
offered opponents that gave the Bills a very favorable match
up. The Bills have a very good defense and special teams.
The offense was and still is average at best. When Buffalo
played teams with average-to-poor defenses, regardless of
how good or bad the offense was the Bills would usually be
successful. If the opponent’s defense was good, regardless
of the offense the Bills usually had trouble.
do a quick review. New England (twice), New York Jets, Pittsburgh,
Baltimore, and Jacksonville—these teams gave the Bills
six or their seven losses. They are all either good or outstanding
defensive teams. The only other loss was on the road to Oakland,
a game that the Bills would have won with anyone other than
Bledsoe at QB. Miami (twice), Cincy, Seattle, St. Louis, Arizona,
San Francisco, Cleveland—this is where the Bills won
eight of their nine games. These teams had some of the worst
defenses in the league. They also beat the Jets at home. This
isn’t brain surgery—if the opponent has a below-average
defense, the Bills will win. If they have a good defense they
will lose. It doesn’t matter if they have a good offense
(Rams) or a bad offense (Jax, Baltimore); if they can play
defense they can beat the Bills. Even in the pre-season this
was true—Indy and Green Bay have two of the ugliest
defensive teams in the league and the Bills won—Chicago
is tough and the Bills looked horrible. The schedule this
season offers a few teams that could provide some difficulty
for the Bills if they wish to make a playoff run.
day is against Houston. The Texans were built around defense;
head coach Dom Capers is a so-called defensive genius. At
the end of last season this team showed signs of a good defense,
including a shutout win at Jacksonville. They have added to
their secondary (Phillip Buchanan, and 2nd year star Duante
Robinson), and this will allow them to blitz and cover man
to man, but overall this defense is not that good. The Bills
should be able to run effectively and grind out the victory.
will also beat New Orleans (wherever they play), Oakland,
Kansas City, Denver and Cincinnati. All these teams have very
questionable defenses, which should afford the Bills success.
They will lose to Atlanta, Carolina, Tampa and San Diego.
Now, things could change—maybe the Tampa defense that
won a Super Bowl three years ago is old and not good anymore;
maybe San Diego had a fluke defense last year; maybe Cincinnati
or Kansas City improves defensively. I don’t see it
leaves the six divisional games. We all know the saying; on
any given Sunday anything can happen. Last year the Bills
either won or had a lead in five of the six intra-divisional
games. They also lost three and had to comeback against the
Dolphins. The only game they didn’t compete in was a
blowout loss at New England. Does that mean the Bills can
win five of these six games? Yes it really does, but they
won’t. Let’s count the game at New England as
a loss, but take two wins versus Miami, as the Dolphin defense
is completely overrated. That leaves New England at Orchard
Park and two games with the Jets.
the above holds out, the Bills will be 8-5 not counting these
three games. If they go 3-0 they make the playoffs, if they
go 2-1 they have a great shot, anything else they come up
short. The final game of the season is at the Jets. I have
the Bills at 9-6, just like last year. The winner will likely
earn a wildcard playoff spot; the loser will go home for the
of how this season goes, 2006 is the season the Bills really
are pointing to for a championship run. If Losman is the real
deal, if Nate Clemens stays with the team, if Lawyer Malloy
and Troy Vincent can stay healthy for two more years and if
a few of the younger players step up and contribute, the Bills
have a legitimate chance to make noise—next season.
Lets give the Jets the win in week 17 this year, but remember,
payback’s a bitch.