2009-10 Buffalo Bills Predictions
by Justin Johnson - 8/12/2009
2008 Figures: Overall record: 7-9. ATS: 7-9. O/U: 8-7-1
2008 Rankings: Scoring offense: 21 (No. 23) Scoring Defense: 21.38 (No. 14)
2008 Inside the Numbers: The Bills are one of only three teams (Detroit and Houston) to have not made the playoffs this decade.
2009 Super Bowl Odds: +4500
Offense: For a team that finished below the median of the league in every offensive category except rushing yards per game (115.13-ypg, good for 14th) the Bills may have made a deal with the Devil to improve their offense when they signed the sideshow that is Terrell Owens. Owens, despite his constant turmoil, has been productive at every stop in his career and could provide a solid redzone weapon alongside WR Lee Evans.
Star running back, and potential Terrell Owens-like team cancer, Marshawn Lynch is staring down the face of a league suspension after pleading guilty to weapons charges and may miss the start of the season.
A major cause for concern to Bills fans, and bettors alike, is the offensive line. In the first preseason game, much like the offseason depth chart indicated, the Bills used two rookies on the interior of the offensive line. First round pick Eric Wood was an All-Big East performer at Louisville - but that was at center. He will now move to guard where he could be undersized and pushed around at 6-foot-3 and just above 300 pounds. At the other guard position will be second round pick Andy Levitre. Levitre, a former Oregon State Beaver, is not accustomed to playing inside as most of his time in college was spent at the tackle position. With such a steep learning curve and increased speed of the game his tendency to play upright may get him bowled over by some stronger rushers.
Defense: Everything about the Bills was right at, or just below, the average in 2008 and that includes the defense. Buffalo was not in the Top 10, nor the Bottom 10, in any defensive category last season. The middle of the pack performance is somewhat by design as the Bills run a very vanilla 4-3 defense that does not work to cause mistakes by the opposition but limit big plays allowed. Linebacker Paul Posluszny is the tough-nosed hard-hitting middle linebacker of NFL Films gone by. A perfect fit for Buffalo, Posluszny will lead a defense that returns pretty much intact from the 2008 version.
Overall: The Bills desperately need to make the playoffs this season but do not look like they are in a position to succeed. Buffalo has won just seven games in three straight years and being an average team in a division with the New England Patriots, upstart Dolphins, and rebuilding but solid Jets does not look good. What’s worse is that the numbers are not on their side either as the Bills are 0-11 SU and 2-9 ATS against the Patriots in their last 11. They also went 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS within the division last season. Look for yet another seven-win season this year, with either a next to last or bottom of the division performance for the Bills. If Buffalo gets off to a slow start (at New England, Tampa Bay, New Orleans, at Miami) the seat could get hot for head coach Dick Jauron.
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