NFL Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills: 5 Players Who Will Shine in Week 1

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Buffalo Bills: 5 Players Who Will Shine in Week 1

Buffalo Bills: 5 Players Who Will Shine in Week 1
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills will take on playoff powerhouse and the divisional rival New England Patriots in their home opener. To say the Bills have struggled against the Patriots in the 21st century is a gross understatement as they have only won twice since 2003, and never have beaten them going up to Gillette Stadium.

That being said, the Bills actually have extremely good players at the key skill positions this year in order to beat the Patriots, and they are young, hungry and driven to change and improve the history of the team. Only a couple of players on this list are players people recognize if you are a casual fan of football, but all five could become everyday names if they do what’s expected of them, which might be more than what people think.

Even though the Bills are heavy underdogs tomorrow, there is so much talent on this roster under new coach Doug Marrone that it shouldn’t be totally shocking if the team pulls off the upset special. They upgraded their defense at key points and actually invested heavily into parts of their offense that needed a dire refresher.

Also, like most Bills fans, there is a different feeling this year in Orchard Park and there are a lot more cautious optimism that is spreading from the team on up throughout the organization. It has spread to the highly devoted base that shows up week in and week out.

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5. Kiko Alonso

#5 Kiko Alonso
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Kiko Alonso is a tenacious linebacker with a non-stop motor that can go sideline to sideline and shut down opposing teams' offenses. He also has the size to take on and cover tight ends, which is something that the Buffalo Bills have sorely lacked in recent years.

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4. Marquise Goodwin

#4 Marquise Goodwin
Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

After an excellent training camp and preseason, Marquise "Flash" Goodwin looks likely to expand his game into the regular season. With incredible speed, long passes could be coming his way early and often.

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3. Stevie Johnson

#3 Stevie Johnson
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The people's champ -- well, at least in the minds of Buffalo Bills fans. Stevie Johnson is so confident about the New England Patriots' secondary not being able to cover him that he will more than likely back it up on Sunday.

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2. E.J. Manuel

#2 E.J. Manuel
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel makes his eagerly-anticipated professional debut. Despite missing the last couple weeks with minor knee surgery, he has a tremendous throwing arm and seems much more relaxed and composed than any quarterback in the last 20 years in Western New York.

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1. C.J. Spiller

#1 C.J. Spiller
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills starting running back C.J. Spiller is one of the most electrifying players in the entire league. Spiller can seemingly score from anywhere on the field of play and if the New England Patriots aren't careful, he will break out on them once he gets into space as he did with the New York Jets in the last game of last season.