Predicting Buffalo Bills’ Record in 2013
How will the Buffalo Bills fare in 2013?
The Buffalo Bills entered the 2012 NFL season with big expectations. They ended up with a top-10 pick in the NFL draft. Fast forward to 2013, and the Bills have tempered those expectations but are hoping to improve with a under new head coach Doug Marrone. Marrone wasted no time in getting his quarterback, trading down and getting E.J. Manuel in the first round. Many had Manuel as the third or fourth ranked quarterback, but Marrone liked his size, arm strength and athletic ability.
2013 should be a learning experience for Manuel but he has shown promise so far in the preseason (he went 10-12 for 92 yards and a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings). Even with the loss of Pro Bowl guard Adam Levitre to the Tennessee Titans, look for Marrone to use a run-heavy offense with special back C.J Spiller and veteran stud Fred Jackson in the backfield. Also, look for rookie wide receivers Robert Woods and Marquis Goodwin to compliment Stevie Johnson in the passing attack.
On defense, they let go Mark Anderson after just one season to save cap room but along the defensive line, they still have Marcel Dareus, Kyle Williams and $100 million man Mario Williams to provide the pressure. Stephon Gilmore is an exciting young player in the secondary to go along with Jarius Bird. Overall, this team should be better than they were in 2012, but how much better is yet to be decided. Let's break down the season week by week to see how many wins the Buffalo Bills will have at the end of 2013.
Week 1: Home Against New England Patriots
The Bills start Week 1 at home against their AFC East rivals the Patriots. As much as the Bills have given the Patriots trouble, they aren't physical enough to tame Brady and his short passing game. Patriots win convincingly 31-21.
Week 2: Home against the Carolina Panthers
Week 2 is a toss-up home game against the Panthers. As much as I would like to pick the Panthers because of Cam Newton, he just doesn't pass well enough to take advantage of the Bills secondary. Bills win 24-20.
Week 3: At New York Jets
I haven't seen enough of Geno Smith or enough out of Mark Sanchez to believe they can win consistently. The Jets have three turnovers and the Bills get their ground game going this week, winning easily 28-20.
Week 4: Home against the Baltimore Ravens
I expect Baltimore to have a down season this year and be third or fourth in their division. With that being said, Flacco does enough to win against the Bills this week, throwing for 300 yards and three touchdowns. Bills lose 31-17.
Week 5: At Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns are a physical team, and the Bills don't do well against physical teams. Cleveland dominates on the ground and shuts down the Bills' prolific run game so far this season. Bills lose 16-9.
Week 6: Home against Cincinatti Bengals
The Bengals should win the AFC North this year easily, as they should also win this game easily. Bills lose 24-10.
Week 7: At Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins should be improved just as the Bills will be, but the Dolphins' quarterback has one year under his belt and has a game-winning drive to finish off the Bills in the waning seconds of the game. Bills lose 17-16.
Week 8: At New Orleans Saints
The Saints aren't physical, but they have too much firepower for the Bills to compete with. The Bills put up a fight but lose in a shootout 34-28.
Week 9: At Home Against Kansas City Chiefs
The Bills are desperate for a win. They step up and beat the Chiefs, a team looking to make the playoffs, by a surprise score of 21-16.
Week 10: At Pittsburgh Steelers
A week after they beat the upstart Chiefs, they follow it up with some momentum and beat the Steelers 31-26.
Week 11: Home Against The New York Jets
At this point, the Jets have struggled all year on offense and although their defense keeps them in the game, the Bills do enough and win their third straight 14-9.
Week 13: Home Against Atlanta Falcons
The Bills have won three straight and they are coming off a bye week, but it doesn't get to four as the Falcons score too much. Falcons win 37-21.
Week 14: At Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Both teams have the same record at this point in the season at 5-8, but the Bills come to play and wins easily behind their superior run game. Spiller goes for over 200 total yards and the Bill win 34-21.
Week 15: Against Jacksonville Jaguars
The Bills are starting to make a push, almost making it to .500 as a club. They win 31-23 as Manuel takes advantage of a porous secondary and gets to 7-7 with an outside chance at making the playoffs.
Week 16: Home Against Miami Dolphins
E.J. Manuel comes into his own and gives back a piece of what happened to the Bills earlier in the year. Bills win in a 24-23 squeaker and go over the .500 mark for the first time this year. If they win against the Patriots next week, they will make the playoffs.
Week 17: At New England Patriots
The Bills need a win to get into the playoffs. Unfortunately, they go against the Patriots again and lose in a heart breaker 31-20. They end the season at 8-8 and look forward to a promising future with E.J. Manuel as their starting quarterback.