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NFL Buffalo Bills

5 Individual Statistical Predictions for the 2014 Buffalo Bills

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5 Individual Statistical Predictions for the Buffalo Bills

EJ Manuel Buffalo Bills-Training Camp
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Every year NFL teams set certain statistical goals for the team as a whole and for individual players. And whether they admit it or not, many players set personal benchmarks for themselves. Quarterbacks want to throw a certain number of touchdowns, receivers want to catch a certain amount of balls and defenders want a certain number of sacks. These are five optimistic but realistic predictions for a few players on the Buffalo Bills.

5. Brandon Spikes Will Record 120 Tackles

Brandon Spikes Buffalo Bills-Training Camp
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

5. Brandon Spikes Will Record 120 Tackles

Brandon Spikes Buffalo Bills-Training Camp
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The former New England Patriot enters his first season with the Bills as one of the best run-stuffing linebackers in football, something this Bills defense desperately needs. Spikes’ career high in tackles with New England was only 91, but as the man in the middle of a Buffalo defense without Kiko Alonso, Spikes will be seeing a lot of ball carriers coming his way this year.

4. Mario Williams Will Get 12 Sacks

Mario Williams Buffalo Bills-Training Camp
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

4. Mario Williams Will Get 12 Sacks

Mario Williams Buffalo Bills-Training Camp
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

For all the flak Williams has caught during his time in Buffalo (mostly due to his massive contract), he has been remarkably productive, racking up 23.5 sacks in his first two seasons with the Bills. Williams is able to be this productive due to the presence of fellow Pro Bowlers Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus. Because those two dominating in the middle, teams can’t double-team Williams on the edge. Look for another big season from Super Mario.

3. E.J. Manuel Will Have a Passer Rating of at Least 90

EJ Manuel Buffalo Bills
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

3. E.J. Manuel Will Have a Passer Rating of at Least 90

E.J. Manuel Buffalo Bills-Minicamp
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s be clear: I’m not predicting Manuel to throw for 5,000 yards and 40 touchdowns. This prediction is based on my belief that Manuel will be a much more efficient passer than he was as a rookie, when his passer rating was a mediocre 77.7. A solid offensive line plus plenty of weapons to work with, most notably star rookie Sammy Watkins, will allow Manuel to ease into his second year as a pro and emerge as a legitimate starting QB.

2. C.J. Spiller Will Gain 1,500 Yards From Scrimmage

C.J. Spiller Buffalo Bills
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

2. C.J. Spiller Will Gain 1,500 Yards From Scrimmage

C.J. Spiller Buffalo Bills
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Considering the fact that Spiller racked up more than 1,700 yards from scrimmage two years ago, this prediction is far from outlandish. Spiller’s main problem last year was injuries, which robbed him of his elite speed and cutting ability. The additions of Sammy Watkins and Mike Williams plus a better E.J. Manuel will take pressure off of Spiller and the Bills’ ground game. Expect Spiller to finally cement himself as an elite NFL running back.

1. Sammy Watkins Will Gain 1,000 Receiving Yards

Sammy Watkins Buffalo Bills
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

1. Sammy Watkins Will Gain 1,000 Receiving Yards

Sammy Watkins Buffalo Bills
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie wide receivers do not have the best track record in the NFL. But then again, Sammy Watkins is not your average rookie. Watkins has dominated some pretty good defensive backs in training camp so far. And consider this: Buffalo’s former No. 1 receiver, Stevie Johnson, eclipsed 1,000 yards three straight seasons with below-average QB play. And it’s not unfair to expect Watkins to be better than Johnson.