2014 Buffalo Bills Opponents and Schedule Highlights
by George Monroy - 4/8/2014
The Buffalo Bills made a few solid roster moves during the offseason after losing safety Jairus Byrd to New Orleans, but they did nothing that, on paper at least, would drastically improve the team heading into next season. Buffalo is receiving the third-worst AFC Championship odds at +4000, according to Sportsbook.ag, and is probably destined for another 6-10 or 7-9 type of season.
The Bills will probably continue to be an excellent rushing team-they were ranked second in rushing yards in 2013-but could make a big move or two before the NFL Draft in May since the team does have one of the biggest salary cap numbers in the league. Let's take a closer look at Buffalo's 2014 opponents with schedule highlights, predictions and analysis.
2014 Buffalo Bills Opponents: Home Schedule
Miami Dolphins : Buffalo did not get a visit from the Dolphins until Week 16 last season. Miami was 8-6 entering the matchup and looked to be on its way to clinching one of the wild card spots in the AFC. Buffalo, however, had other plans and held its division rival scoreless in a 19-point victory, which helped end Miami's playoff chances.
New England Patriots : Buffalo opened the 2013 season with a close, two-point loss to the Patriots. The Bills were a 10-point underdog and easily covered the spread. This matchup might not exactly be a winnable one for the team, but covering a large spread is well within reason for an offense that likes to take its time.
New York Jets : Buffalo beat an up-and-down Jets squad during Week 11 last year by 23 points and had a decent outing from rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel, who threw for 245 yards. The team's main problem last season was its inconsistent play. Buffalo did not win consecutive games all season until Weeks 15 and 16.
Kansas City Chiefs : These two teams met during a Week 2 matchup in 2012 that Buffalo won by 18 points. That game, however, was during the Chiefs' horrendous two-win campaign, and things will probably be much different in 2014. Both squads were solid defensive groups, so a low-scoring affair is probably in order.
San Diego Chargers : The Chargers averaged 24 points a game in 2013, which may be around the same number they average this season. The Bills, on the other hand, averaged 21 points a game, but they did end the year covering 75 percent of their home spreads.
Cleveland Browns : The Browns ended last year with a 3-5 road ATS record and lost those games by an average of 9.2 points. Cleveland's SU record was even worse as the team managed to win only one actual game while away from its home stadium.
Green Bay Packers : The Packers are expected to improve on last year's very mediocre 8-7-1 SU record, but the squad did not make enough improvements during the offseason to thrust itself into contender status. Green Bay was 4-4 ATS in 2013 and will probably be a favorite heading into this matchup.
Minnesota Vikings : Minnesota has not done much to improve during the offseason and may be waiting to restock its roster through the draft. The squad did not win a single road game last year and finished with a 0-7-1 record. The Bills are a solid defensive team that excels at stopping the run.
2014 Buffalo Bills Opponents: Road Schedule
At Miami Dolphins: Buffalo swept the Dolphins both SU and ATS during 2013. The squad won the first meeting between the teams by two points during Week 7 as a five-point road underdog.
At New England Patriots: The Bills ended 2013 with a Week 17 loss to the Patriots. The team was a 7.5-point underdog but played from behind the entire way as New England needed the win to lock up a first-round bye. Buffalo has lost seven of the last eight matchups in this series.
At New York Jets: The Jets were a 2.5-point favorite heading into its Week 3 matchup against the Bills and managed to get a seven-point win in the process. The squads split the season series over the last two years with the home team winning each time,
At Denver Broncos: There are probably only a handful of teams that would not be in a bad matchup heading into Denver. Unfortunately, Buffalo is not one of those teams. The Broncos were 6-3-1 ATS at home (playoff included) last season and won those games by an average of 15 points.
At Oakland Raiders: Oakland was one of the most active teams on the free agency market, but that does not mean the team will improve much heading into 2014. The Raiders were 3-5 ATS at home last season and managed to be installed as the favorite only twice.
At Houston Texans: Houston has draft picks and a bit of salary cap space, so expect an improvement on 2013's two-win season. Buffalo will probably be a decent, but not playoff, team, so a matchup against a desperate Texans squad could be a tough situation in 2014.
At Chicago Bears: Chicago was one of the worst home ATS team in the NFL last season. The squad ended with a 1-6-1 ATS mark even though it won the majority of those games. The Bears will probably be a favorite in this matchup, but there is value on the Bills.
At Detroit Lions: The Lions may have been inconsistent last season, but this matchup is still a difficult one for Buffalo. Detroit averaged 24 points per game, while the Bills had the 28th-ranked passing defense in the NFL. Expect the Buffalo to struggle to keep up in this one.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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