Yes, its true I don't play for the Bills, I don't have to prepare for a game this week so I can look ahead, it wont change a thing. Yes, its true that things change in the NFL so fast it can make your head spin. Teams doing good now can crash and teams getting beat now can turn things around. I know that making predictions of who will win a game weeks from now is not only inaccurate but futile. I am a Bills fan humor me.
The schedule this year was even more brutal than last years when I first looked at it. Oh, how things can change. Who would have thought when the schedule first came out that some of the tough teams that were on our schedule would wind up with such huge holes in their rosters. Who would have thought that teams like Pittsburg, NE, and Baltimore would be crashing the way they have. I am not saying they are pushover games, you don't need to remind me that we just lost to NE. My point is simple The power houses of years gone by are aging, fading, and falling. Teams that were at one time almost sure losses with out talent level are now games that can be won. So with that in mind lets look ahead.
Lets look at out schedule one week at a time. pay close attention to the NFL ranking of the team, my projected W-L record when they play the Bills, and how they have changed since the schedule first came out.
Week #1 NE at home. Current NFL power ranking = 5th record 0-0 This is crazy yes we lost to them but there is no way NE is the 5th best team in the NFL (I will concede that the rankings are from before the Jets game and about the time of the injury to Amendola). Their ranking will be heading south really soon. Still come on the Patty cakes get such a pass from everyone, including the NFL schedule makers, and refs. This team has a lot of problems and even when Amendola and Gronk come back I doubt it lasts. As good as they are they are both fragile. NE is the only team that can beat a team ranked 27th by two points and move up in the rankings from 8th to 5th. This is the first game that we play against a team that in fading from last year.
Week #2 Panthers at home. PR = 21st record 0-1 This team has a very tough defense and will be a challenge for us up front. Their weakness on defense is their DB's We will have to turn EJ lose a little to put up points on this team. Lets not forget that this is a team that is starting Chris Scott at RG a player that Marone cut bc he failed expectations coming into our training camp. I think this is a good ranking, and I think we are better than this team. We win this game Sunday and go 1-1.
Week #3 at the Jets. PR = 28th record 1-1 This is a team that we knew was going to be bad and they are. I think this ranking is good and this is a team that very easily could have been 0-2 when they face us next week. We beat them next week to go 2-1 and take sole possession of second place in the division.
Week #4 Ravens at home. PR = 13th record 1-2 This is the second team that we play this year that is not what they used to be. The roster of last years champs has been really chipped away at. I know it was just one game, but a Ravens defense that gives up 49 points in week #1 is not the same. I think this team will still be in the hunt come playoff time, but this in no longer a top 5 ranked team and even though I think they will still beat us in week#4, this team has been weakened. Our record after week #4 is 2-2.
Week #5 at the Browns. PR = 30th record 0-4 This was a team that some were saying could surprise this year. The bottom line is that the AFC North is a weaker division than in years past and the Browns will do there part to help this decline. We get a win on the road to go back above .500, 3-2.
Week #6 Bengals at home. PR = 10th record 4-1 This is about right and the Bills will have to play a great game to win this at home, but again I think this is now a game that can be won. In the end I predict we lose this one sending us back to .500 our record 3-3.
week #7 at Miami. PR = 14th record 2-3 Another team that gets a lot of talk in the press but I don't think that they can back up all the talk. Yes they spent a lot in FA and I think they are better than last year, but this is a team that will stay close to .500 all year. I think they will trend down a few notches by week #7 and we will trend up so that this will be a really good game. I will give this one to Miami bc of home field advantage, but it could go either way. our record 3-4.
Week #8 at New Orleans. PR = 7th record 5-1 We really should not be surprised that NO is back, this is a talented team with a real good QB. I am hoping to go to this game, and as is usual we lose all games I attend. This is the end of a rough stretch in our season, but fear not we have some easier games coming. our record 3-5.
Week # 9 KC at home. PR = 22nd record 3-5 They looked good last week, but it was against Jacksonville. I have them losing their next two games. We have a good recent history against KC and we should win this game turning around the Bills mid season slide. Our record 4-5.
Week # 10 at Pittsburgh. PR = 25th record 2-6 So this is the third game the Bills face that is against a team that is simply not the team they used to be. This is not only a we might win, this is a we should win game on the road. Our record 5-5.
Week #11 Jets at home. PR = 28th record 1-8 At this point in the season 28th could be high, and with two wins in our rear view mirror yes we should win this game at home. Our record 6-5.
Week # 12 buy week. Yes I think we can go into our buy week at 6-5 and where are the rest of the AFC East at this point? NE 6-5, Miami 6-5, and Jets 1-9. yes a three way tie for first with five more games to go. Go Bills!!!!
Week # 13 Falcons at home. PR = 8th record 8-3. Man we do have some tough home games, and the Falcons could be better than their 8th ranking by this time of the year. I think we are out gunned on this one and go to a 6-6 record.
Week # 14 at Tampa Bay. PR = 29th record 4-8. Ok so 29th is looking a little low but I don't expect them to climb to high by this point. Still this will be on the road and a must win for the Bills. We get the big win for a 7-6 record.
Week # 15 at Jacksonville. PR = 32nd record 1-12. Keep your head down and play this one all the way through bc we cant afford to lose one that we should win. Record 8-6. Yes that puts us in first in the division with the last two games being in the division.
Week # 16 Miami at home. PR = 14th record 7-7. That ranking is about right for them, and I think at this point we have to have this win. This is the last home game of the season and with the playoffs well in reach the Ralph will be rocking. After losing to them earlier in the year the Bills get their revenge. Record 9-6.
Week #17 at New England. PR = 5th record 8-7. By now Gronk and Amendola have both returned from injury, but are injured again. Gronk is still playing through, but Amendola has been put on IR. With NE one game back but a win clinching the division for them they will be fired up. By now the Bills are hitting on all cylinders, and in a real slugfest the Bills pull out a real win over NE on their turf. By By Brady!!!! The Bills win the division with a 10-6 record.
So I started off in reality but somewhere along the way started dreaming. Hey, it could happen, and the point of this post is simply that this could be our year, not bc the Bills are so strong, but bc their is a void in the normal power structure of the NFL. Yes there is even a void in the strength of our schedule. Look back at all the 21st or higher ranked teams we play (8). Look at all the losing records the teams we play will have (9). With two more teams having .500 records when we play them. That only leaves five teams that will have a better than .500 record when they face the Bills. Sure those numbers can change, but things are looking better than they were this spring, and I love it.
If you made it to here you are a trooper, if you made it to here and you are a Bill, GET BACK TO WORK.