Head Coach: Doug Marrone
2012 Record: 6-10-0 (4th in AFC East)
New Players: QB Kevin Kolb; QB E.J. Manuel; DL Alan Branch; LB Marcus Dowtin; LB Manny Lawson; OL Doug Legursky.
Gone Elsewhere: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick; LB Nick Barnett; WR David Nelson; WR Donald Jones; CB Terrence McGee; OL Andy Levitre; OL Chad Rinehart; S George Wilson.
Offense: The Bills brought in veteran quarterback Kevin Kolb from Arizona, where he passed for 1,169 yards with eight touchdowns and three interceptions in a nightmare season in the desert. They also drafted E.J. Manuel from Florida State to compete for the starting job.
Aside from that, the Buffalo running game is in solid shape with C.J. Spiller (1,244 yards, 6.0 ypc average and six TD) and Fred Jackson, who chipped in with 437 rushing yards and three touchdowns last year.
The wide receivers have Stevie Johnson (79 receptions for 1,046 yards and six TD) and T.J. Graham, who had 31 catches for 322 yards and one score. Scott Chandler (43, 571, six TD) is the tight end.
Rookies Robert Woods (USC) and Marquise Goodwin (Texas) are looking to contribute right away at wide receiver. Brad Smith (14, 152, two TD) can play wideout as well as run the ball and can even play quarterback in a pinch. He also returns kicks.
The O-Line has center Eric Wood, tackles Erik Pears and Cordy Glenn. The guards will be David Snow and Kraig Urbik.
Defense: The Bills defense gave up 435 points last season while also ranking 30th in the NFL against the run, giving up 146 yards per game. The pass defense (217 yards allowed per game) did much better, finishing tenth overall.
|DE Mario Williams|
The linebackers will have Mark Anderson and Manny Lawson on the outside while Nigel Bradham and perhaps rookie Kiko Alonso (Oregon) will be starting on the inside. Bryan Scott (four interceptions), Arthur Moats and Greg Lloyd provide depth to the linebacking corps.
The secondary is a good one with safety Jairus Byrd (five interceptions) and cornerback Stephon Gilmore leading the way along with Leodis McKelvin at the other corner spot. Da'Norris Searcy is the strong safety.
OUTLOOK: It appears the Buffalo Bills are rebuilding (sort of) on the fly with the quarterback changes taking place after the Ryan Fitzpatrick two-year experience ended last season with a thud.
New Head Coach Doug Marrone will have his work cut out as the team looks to compete with New England in the AFC East.
If Manuel or Kolb can get a grasp on the offense and Spiller continues to shine in the backfield, the team will improve on offense, where they ranked 19th last season, averaging 343 yards per game while scoring 21 points per game. The running game was sixth in the NFL, gaining 139 yards each game. The passing game must improve if the Bills want to be competitive all season long.
The defense gave up too many points and rushing yardage and that must improve or the Bills will likely suffer through another losing season in 2013. They haven't made the playoffs since 1999 and it won't be easy this year given the changes they are making on both sides of the ball, particularly at quarterback.
The Patriots still appear to be the beast of the AFC East division, but the Bills are hopeful to make a move this year. Most likely, it will take more than one year for the changes to jell and the Bills to be considered a legitimate contender in the division.
Buffalo should finish the season at 5-11 while building a new foundation with the new coaching staff and a new starting quarterback. Eventually the playoff drought will end, but it just won't be this season.
Sept. 8- vs. New England
Sept. 15- vs. Carolina
Sept. 22- at NY Jets
Sept. 29- vs. Baltimore
Oct. 3- at Cleveland
Oct. 13- vs. Cincinnati
Oct. 20- at Miami
Oct. 27- at New Orleans
Nov. 3- vs. Kansas City
Nov. 10- at Pittsburgh
Nov. 17- vs. NY Jets
Nov. 24- BYE WEEK
Dec. 1- vs. Atlanta
Dec. 8- at Tampa Bay
Dec. 15- at Jacksonville
Dec. 22- vs. Miami
Dec. 29- at New England