With the 2012 Buffalo Bills’ season right around the corner, it is never too early to start making predictions. Below is my full over/under report for Buffalo in the upcoming season:
Ryan Fitzpatrick Interceptions – 20 INT
UNDER – Fitzpatrick led the entire NFL with a very unflattering 24 interceptions in 2011. He forced more then his fair share of passes downfield, but to his defense he only had receiver Steve Johnson to throw the ball to. Fitzpatrick is a true gunslinger quarterback, so he will always take chances down field, which in turn will always be follow by interceptions. Look for the Harvard grad to be a little more cautious with the ball and limit his interceptions to around 16-19 this year.
Fred Jackson Rushing Yards – 1,200 Rushing Yards
UNDER – Fred Jackson amassed an amazing 934 rushing yards before suffering a devastating broken leg in week 11. Jackson was running with a sense of determination last year and it was evident in every carry. Jackson now returns to a team that seems ready to start splitting his carries with backup, C. J. Spiller, something that is never a good sign for a 31-year old running back. Jackson can easily get over 1,000 yards on the ground, but 1,200 seems like a stretch with the extra competition for the ball in the backfield.
C.J. Spiller Touches per Game – 10
OVER- Buffalo has to make sure that they are dedicated to getting Spiller, their former first round pick, the ball more then 10 times a game. He is a one of a kind talent and his natural play making ability can change a game at any second. However, he can only do this if the team gets him the ball and in the off-season they have stated that they plan to do exactly that.
Steve Johnson Unnecessary Celebration Penalties – 3
UNDER – This is more of a hopeful projection, as it is anything else. Steve Johnson has already cost the team more then his share of penalty yardage over the last year and it does not look like he is going to stop anytime soon. However, three many be a bit much; two is probably the more accurate projection.
Mario Williams Sacks – 10
OVER – Buffalo paid Mario Williams $100 million dollars to come in and bolster the team’s defensive line. Now lets see if he can actually earn his ridiculous contract. Williams at least will be featured on a very physical line, so 10 sacks seems very likely for the former first overall selection.
Terrence McGee’s Missed Starts – 5
UNDER – Terrence McGee has not been healthy for a very longtime, which was the primary reason why the Bills drafted cornerback, Stephon Gilmore, in the first round of this year’s draft. McGee has not finished a full 16-game season since 2004 and the veteran cornerback has missed a devastating 22 games over the last three seasons. He has said that he is still not 100% healthy following his knee/ hamstring injuries last season and is causing quite a bit of panic around the Buffalo area. It seems almost inevitable that McGee will sit out a couple games every year, but it still doe not make it any easy for the team. The Bills’ secondary needs their best player on the field, but they should still be ready to play a handful of those games without their former Pro Bowler corner.
Buffalo Wins – 8
OVER – My prediction is that the Bills will finish 9-7, win the wild card, and head to the playoffs for the first time since 1999. After all, “Nobody Circles the Wagons like the Buffalo Bills.”
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