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Predicting the first five games of the Buffalo Bills 2017 season

Our student intern takes a crack at the first five weeks of the Bills season.

Editor’s note: Evan Przybylak is a sophomore at Hamburg High School.

The Buffalo Bills have one of the toughest NFL schedules this year. They only play one divisional team in a six week span, leaving the rest for the end of the season. This year’s schedule features some of the upstart teams in the league, with the Atlanta Falcons (week four), Oakland Raiders (week eight), and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (week seven).

New York Jets: The Jets have had a weird offseason. They lost both their starting and backup quarterbacks, starting wide receiver, center, and kicker. To replace them, they signed journeyman and ex-Brown Josh McCown, cornerback Morris Claiborne, a new left tackle and kicker, and that about it. If Christian Hackenberg hitting reporters with his own passes doesn’t impress the coaches, well I don’t know what would.

Prediction: Bills win

Carolina Panthers: The Panthers lost some key players and coaches this offseason. But at the same times, made some impressive transactions. During the offseason, the Panthers re-signed defensive tackle Kawann Short and tackle Matt Kalil. They brought in some talented players like cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, defensive end Mario Addison and former Panther Julius Peppers. They definitely improved their running game by drafting running back Christian McCaffrey. They did lose defensive end Kony Ealy to the Patriots via trade. The Panthers had to surrender their defensive coordinator Sean McDermott and assistant general manager Brandon Beane and a handful of receivers, which were signed/hired by the Bills. The Panthers defense may be different this year under Steve Wilks. That is something to watch for.

Prediction: Bills win

Denver Broncos: There sure is a battle between Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian for the starting job under center, it is still unsure who win the job. But that’s why there is training camp. The Broncos did lose some skilled players including linebacker DeMarcus Ware to retirement, tackle Russell Okung, cornerback Kayvon Webster and more. They did indeed draft a new tackle, Garett Bolles, to take the spot of Okung. To replace the retired Gary Kubiak, the Broncos hired Vance Joseph , the former-Dolphins defensive coordinator. The linebacker corps needs some work, especially with the recent injury to Shane Ray. The Broncos will be themselves this season, they will have ups and downs. But I think they will have success in the future.

Prediction: toss up

Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons have had a somewhat mellow off-season after losing the Super Bowl. They brought in veteran nose tackle Dontari Poe and drafted DE/OLB Takkarist McKinley, who may take the place of Sean Weatherspoon . It is going to be difficult to pass with a win, but if the Bills play their cards right, they may win. They would have to stop the reigning NFL MVP Matt Ryan. Not the easiest thing, but can be done.

Prediction: Bills lose

Cincinnati Bengals: Last season was the first time the Bengals missed the postseason in the Andy Dalton Era. Some disappointing losses left them sitting on the outside looking in. Head coach Marvin Lewis may be on the thin wire this season. Going into year 14 and the final year of his contact, he shouldn't keep his hopes up, unless the Bengals do well. Their off-season was quiet, until the draft hit. The Bengals selected the fastest guy in the draft in receiver John Ross, with a 4.22 40-yard dash time. His brisk speed will take down defenders even before laying a finger on him. In the second round, they selected running back Joe Mixon. He will leave a big impact on the running back’s group. With a healthy A.J. Green, the Bengals are hard to stop. But, with the Bills solid secondary, it sure will take some work for a win.

Prediction: Bills win

The Bills have their bye in Week 6, and I predict they will have at least three wins by that point.