The Buffalo Bills‘ ability to obliterate expectations probably will rely on huge explosions from unexpected sources. Kevin Kolb never stayed healthy for anywhere close to a full season as starter while rookie first-rounder EJ Manuel is considered somewhat of a project quarterback, but don’t tell him.
“The funny thing is it’s easier to learn than the offense I had at Florida State,” Manuel told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “It’s a true West Coast-type progression offense. That’s really what I wanted when I was coming through the pre-draft process. I wanted something that I could just go in and say 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, check it down and run it. That’s it, it’s that simple.”
CJ Spiller is likely to prove to be the X-factor that decides whether this team surpasses their Vegas season-win line of 6.5 or seriously contends for the AFC East title at +1800 division odds (clearly the 125-to-1 odds aren’t worth touching). If Buffalo can get the NFL‘s most electric running back significantly more touches than in his underused role with Chan Gailey, then Doug Marrone‘s first year in Western New York should go much easier.
The second major key for this squad hitting the seven-win mark to capture the over, is the Bills finding a better way to manage their heavy investment on the defensive line. The talent is certainly there with the likes of Mario Williams, Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus, and now the pressure must come for Buffalo to really scare teams at all defensively.
Kolb staying healthy would be ideal, but I wouldn’t be completely shocked to see Manuel forced into starting sometime in 2013.