Buffalo BEAST - Buffalo's New Best Fiend
 

Sept 7-Sept 21, 2005
Issue #83

  ..Buffalo's Best Fiend
   
Brown Nose
Buffalo News Endorses Mediocrity
Allan Uthman

Occupational Hazard
Why They Hate Us
Alexander Zaitchik

Lie of the Storm
No one could've predicted this, or something
Kit Smith
Joltin' Bolton
UN Ambassador as bad as you thought
Jeff Dean
Beast Calling!
A Tele-prayer with the 700 Club
(includes audio)

Area Man Remembers 9-11 Twice Daily
Ian Murphy

Point/Counterpoint
A debate on withdrawal

The BEAST BLOG
Buffalo in Briefs
The Sports Blotter
The Week in Sports Crime
Matt Taibbi
Page 3
Bills Season Preview
Ronnie Roscoe
Separated at Birth?
Beast-O-Scopes
Kino Korner: Movies
Voicemails
[sic] - Letters
 Cover Page

COMIX:
Idiot Box
Perry Bible Fellowship
Bob the Angry Flower

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Depressing Bills Season Preview
Ronnie Roscoe

Hello 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.

Since 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.

The 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.

The 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.

Let’s 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.

Opening 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.

They 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 happening.

This 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.

If 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 off-season.

Regardless 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.

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