If I were to summarize my thoughts on the previous season, I'd have to go with disappointed but expected. I figured before the season we were roughly a 6 win team with a shot at possibly 7-9. Anyone expecting playoffs last year probably drank a little too much Bills flavored alcohol. So where does that leave us for next season. What can we realistically expect? What results should we accept? Let's discuss!
For me, I want the team to take the next step. I want significant improvement in year two. I'm not necessarily demanding playoffs, but if the team finished below 8-8 I will consider it a massive disappointment. Are my standards too high? Probably not as high as many on here. Finishing at .500 or better in the win column would show progress to me. Getting there is a totally different story. Offensively, I want to see EJ Manuel take off next season. What I mean by that is he hits the ground running and improves in almost if not all aspects of the game. He had a decent first season in my opinion. He didn't light the world on fire but he didn't look like an unmitigated disaster either. However, merely adequate isn't good enough in this league. Ideally, I'd want him to finish in the top 10 stats-wise but I'll accept top 15. Anything less and it might be time to scout some alternatives just in case. I also expect a bounce back year from CJ Spiller. I feel like his ankle really affected his game and had he been 100 percent healthy would have done much better. I'll admit part of my disappointment comes from owning him in fantasy. That being said, I think he'll make us happy next season. Our receiver group (including tight end) needs to make the next step as well. Chandler and Stevie Johnson were reliable, but beyond that there isn't much to write home about. Goodwin and Woods showed great promise and for next season I want to see them take the next step. On the defensive side of the ball, I want to see them sustain the success they had getting to the QB. They were fantastic in that category. Unfortunately, the run defense was rather bad. This needs to be corrected. I want to be able to watch a Bills game and not see people like LeGarret Blount, Bobby Rainey, and whoever the Jaguars third string guy was looking like All-Pros. Special Teams will also need to take a major leap forward. If they have a repeat of their 2013 performance then Crossman needs to be fired. Some will probably say he should have already been fired but he hasn't so not much we can do about that. If they continue to suck, Marrone won't be able to give an excuse to keep him for a third season.
Overall, I want the Bills to play competitive football for all 16 weeks of the season. No getting blown out. Like how we started the season for example. I also want to see an increase in the discipline of the team. The amount of unnecessary penalties got infuriating at times. No need for that. Playoffs would be awesome, but I don't think we're at that level yet, I would love for Buffalo to prove me wrong, but 14 years of ineptitude and no playoff appearances makes me a tad pessimistic. I want and expect at least 8-8. Anything less is a failure in my eyes. Not a fire everyone and lets start over failure, but definitely a have heavy doubts about the future of the franchise failure. Also, we need to continue to win inside our division. I don't know about you but I HATE losing to the Jets and Dolphins. Also hate losing to the Patriots but I don't think we'll start beating them come next season. So what say you Bills fans? What do you feel is acceptable for us next season? What are your expectations?
2nd AFC East