June 19, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarter back Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) drops back to pass during the Bills minicamp at the Ralph Wilson Stadium practice field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE
Every pre-season, the first pro football preview guide that I turn to is the annual almanac published by the folks at Football Outsiders. I go there first not because they're necessarily 100 percent accurate in their team breakdowns - and certainly not because I put a ton of stock into their process - but because of the depth of their work.
In 2010, FO projected the Buffalo Bills would win 5.2 games; they went 4-12. Last season, FO projected the Bills would win 7.7 games; they went 6-10. Noting that the trend has been for FO to slightly over-project in favor of the Bills, our favorite team is projected to win 9.7 games this season in this year's almanac. They're also given a 54.8 percent chance of making the playoffs.
"Apparently, our spreadsheets did not receive the memo about no longer believing in the Bills, so here we go again," FO writes. "For crying out loud, Buffalo, don't make us look like idiots this time."
As has happened in years past, the current plan is for me to go even further in-depth with the folks at FO; in this case, it'll be a chat with Sean McCormick, who authored the Bills chapter. While I work on that, I'll ask you this: is FO's 9.7-win projection too high or too low for the Bills?