2012 Buffalo Bills Predictions & Odds to Win Super Bowl XLVII
2012 Buffalo Bills Predictions
Odds to win Super Bowl XLVII: 50-1
The Bills started off last season with a 5-2 record and looked like a possible playoff team. Then injuries started piling up as they lost seven starters including running back Fred Jackson, nose tackle Kyle Williams and center Eric Wood and they lost eight of nine games to end the season. The Bills tied the Dolphins for last place, which meant they have no finished last in the AFC East for four straight years. They also finished 1-5 against division foes New England, the Jets and Miami. But there is a renewed sense of optimism based on some very good off-season signings led by the acquisitions of two defensive ends/linebackers in Mario Williams from Houston and Mark Anderson from New England. That should help a defense that ranked 26th overall.
Ryan Fitzpatrick led the team to a 5-2 start and received a $59 million extension. A rush to judgement? Maybe. The 29-year old Harvard grad started with 14 TDs and just seven picks for a 97.8 passer rating and ended up leading the league in picks with 23. During their seven-game losing streak his best passer rating was 51.9. At running back, Jackson was on a great pace to start the season and wound up with 934 yards (5.5ypc) in just 10 games with six TDs. He cracked his fibula on Nov. 20 and will return at 100%. His injury opened the door for speedy C.J. Spiller, who ran for 561 yards (5.2ypc) with four TDs. They should be fine at running back but wide receiver is a concern. Stevie Johnson is back to lead the team with 76 catches for 1,004 yards and seven TDs. Johnson cost his team twice last year during TD celebrations that were flagged for penalty and he is prone to big drops. The Bills drafted T.J. Graham (5-11, 188) from NC State in the third round, who adds great speed. WR David Nelson (6-5, 214) added 61 passes for 658 yards (10.8ypc) and five TDs, but is a possession receiver. Scott Chandler (6-7, 272) is a decent pass catcher but he doesn’t look like he’ll be one of the elite tight ends in the game. The offensive line needed some help at left tackle with the loss of Demetress Bell to the Eagles. They drafted Cordy Glenn (6-5, 345) from Georgia in the second round but many view him as a guard. If he can start at left guard, this could become one of the best lines in the game. Last year, they allowed just 23 sacks despite Wood going down to an ACL injury. And the team’s average of 4.9 yards per carry was its best since 1975.
The additions of Williams and Anderson (10 sacks last year) should be a great help to a defense that finished with 29 sacks in 2011. Williams (6-7, 295) is a dominant player when healthy. The defense as a whole yielded a club-record 5,938 yards and an AFC-worst 434 points. Anderson (6-4, 255) is a limited player against the run but he can rush the passer. At defensive tackle, Marcel Dareus (6-3, 319) led the team in sacks with 5.5 and showed why he was taken number last year. NT Kyle Williams (6-1, 306) was lost after the first five games to a foot injury and the defense never recovered. At linebacker, Nick Barnett (6-2, 236) was a nice pickup, recording 130 tackles, three sacks and three picks. Second-year pro Kelvin Sheppard (6-2, 250) earned a starting spot as a third-round pick and finished fourth in tackles with 70. Shawne Merriman (6-4, 265) is attempting another comeback, this time off an Achilles’ injury. He could be in the mix. The secondary needed some help as they added Stephon Gilmore, an aggressive corner from South Carolina with the 10th pick in the draft. He’ll start right away next to Terrence McGee, who was injured last year. Aaron Williams also struggled with injuries as a rookie second-rounder but did win a starting job. They should be much stronger at corner this year if they are healthy. At safety, George Wilson had a career year with 106 tackles and four picks, while Jairus Byrd added 98 tackles and three picks.
The Bills went through three kickers last year though Rian Lindell should be fine after making 13 of 15 kicks. Brian Moorman is one of the top punters in the NFL, averaging 48.2 yards per kick last year (club record). Justin Rogers averaged 28.7 yards per kick return, tough Brad Smith and Spiller can return punts and kicks as well.
The Bills should be a much-improved team this year, as .500 is certainly possible. A lot will depend on Fitzpatrick and the offense that probably lacks enough playmakers to compete for the AFC East.
|Week 1||Sun.||Sep. 9||@ New York Jets||1:00 PM ET||CBS|
|Week 2||Sun.||Sep. 16||vs. Kansas City Chiefs||1:00 PM ET||CBS|
|Week 3||Sun.||Sep. 23||@ Cleveland Browns||1:00 PM ET||CBS|
|Week 4||Sun.||Sep. 30||vs. New England Patriots||1:00 PM ET||CBS|
|Week 5||Sun.||Oct. 7||@ San Francisco 49ers||4:25 PM ET||CBS|
|Week 6||Sun.||Oct. 14||@ Arizona Cardinals||4:05 PM ET||CBS|
|Week 7||Sun.||Oct. 21||vs. Tennessee Titans||1:00 PM ET||CBS|
|Week 8||Bye Week|
|Week 9||Sun.||Nov. 4||@ Houston Texans||1:00 PM ET||CBS|
|Week 10||Sun.||Nov. 11||@ New England Patriots||1:00 PM ET||CBS|
|Week 11||Thu.||Nov. 15||vs. Miami Dolphins||8:20 PM ET||NFLN|
|Week 12||Sun.||Nov. 25||@ Indianapolis Colts||1:00 PM ET||CBS|
|Week 13||Sun.||Dec. 2||vs. Jacksonville Jaguars||1:00 PM ET||CBS|
|Week 14||Sun.||Dec. 9||vs. St. Louis Rams||1:00 PM ET||FOX|
|Week 15||Sun.||Dec. 16||vs. Seattle Seahawks||4:05 PM ET||FOX|
|Week 16||Sun.||Dec. 23||@ Miami Dolphins||1:00 PM ET||CBS|
|Week 17||Sun.||Dec. 30||vs. New York Jets||1:00 PM ET||CBS|
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