What Needs to Happen for the Buffalo Bills to Make the Playoffs?

By Jeff Sattora

Recently many NFL analysts have been predicting that this year will be the one that the Buffalo Bills finally end their league-long 12 year playoff drought.

While I, as a Bills fan, would be ecstatic if that happened, I do understand that there would be quite a few contributing factors for the Bills to end that drought.  Here are a few of the main things I think need to happen to put the Bills over that playoff hump.

1. Ryan Fitzpatrick needs to play well- When the Bills started off strong last season one of the biggest factors was the play of their quarterback, Fitzpatrick.  If Fitz can play at that early season level in 2012 he can give the Bills a strong chance to succeed.

2. C.J. Spiller needs to continue to improve- With the injury to star running back Fred Jackson last season, former top-10 pick C.J. Spiller was able to step into the starting role at both running back, and times receiver, and play very well.  If Spiller can keep that productivity up with Jackson back from injury it can only mean good things.

3. The defense needs to step up- With the free agent signings of Mario Williams and Mark Anderson, as well as the drafting of Stephon Gilmore, big things are expected from this Buffalo defense in their first year together.  The defense struggling has been one of the biggest factors in the team not making the playoffs over the years, and they are looking to end that.

4. Avoiding injuries- Whether it was Fred Jackson last year, or the long list of players before that, Buffalo has been famous for having a ton of injuries kill their depth the last few years.  If the team can stay healthy and just stay on the field for close to all of the 16 games then they are capable of quite a bit in Western New York.

5. The offense developing a second receiver- We all know that Stevie Johnson can be a big play threat and number one receiver in Buffalo, the big question is who will fall in line behind him.  For Fitzpatrick and the Bills offense to be successful they are going to need a second receiver to step up and fill that void.  If they don’t get that, nothing else they do may matter.

What do you think needs to happen for Buffalo to make the playoffs this season?

Follow me on twitter @jeffsattora

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