The Buffalo Bills will enter the 2015 season like a kid in a candy store with a pocket full of change. Their offseason went about as well as any teams could but yet it still kinda went under the radar. Some Bills fans were not happy with the trade for RB LeSean McCoy as they were forced to let go of a great defensive player from a year ago. Yes a year ago as Kiko Alonso was a non-factor last season and the Bills still managed to have a top 5 rated defense. Which brings us to our discussion.
The New England Patriots have ruled this division for the last , you know what, who really cares (you want stats, go to ESPN, I am here to give you straight fan talk). They have been dominant for some time now while the Bills have had their years but we are trying to get back to the Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, Bruce Smith (and well you get the point) era. We want those days back. No we didn’t win a ring, but everyone knew that to win a ring you had to go through Orchard Park to do so. Those day have been missed but when a team throws away what they figure to be trash it can easily turn into another’s prize possession. The importance of a steady Head Coach is essential in any team sport but in football he means everything. Where would the cheaters, I mean Patriots be with Belichick, the Seahawks without Carroll or the Packers without McCarthy? Their voice, and decision-making skills are what set the good ones apart from the great ones.
The Bills made the right decision going with Rex Ryan, a defensive genius who took a bunch of cast aways in New York and turned them into something special. It didn’t last because management decided to be tight with the wallet, thus resulting in sub-par players and play on the field. In Buffalo Rex has already inherited a top ranked defense, his job now is to make either Matt Cassel or E.J. Manuel into his next Mark Sanchez. My only negative with the Bills offseason was that they should have been the ones that snagged Nick Foles from the eager Chip Kelly. Foles back with McCoy, then you add Fred Jackson, Sammy Watkins and now Charles Clay to the mix, we are talking at least 3 possible Pro Bowl seasons next year but it all starts with the QB.
Should we just throw the towel in on Manuel? Does he deserve another shot with the new weapons that he has? We have seen Ryan work miracles before, so it will not be a surprise to see lighting strike again for him and a sub-par QB. Manuel finished last season as the backup to a recently retired QB, that alone says enough about his skill set. Cassel lost his job to a rookie that was supposed to sit and watch last season so that all but sums up his career as well and these are the two guys we have to hitch our wagons to unless Rex has another trick or two up his sleeve.
Despite the Super Bowl victory the Patriots are not as invincible as many think. The AFC East has improved the last few years and now with the major upgrade that the Jets done this offseason and the momentum the Dolphins have built the past two-years and now you can throw the Bills into the mix the Patriots reign may be coming to an end. The Bills defense did their part, it was the offense that laid an egg. Sammy Watkins will look to improve on his rookie season, while the RB’s McCoy and Jackson will have a race to the 1,500 yard mark but once again each player is tied to the QB. If either player can’t stretch a defense then everyone is in trouble. With McCoy now in the backfield opposing defenses will try to stack the box to stop the run, when that happens the QB must make them pay. Deep throws on single coverage, quick outs to Clay or drop-offs to either McCoy or Jackson but who do we trust enough to do that?
Plenty is riding on this season, while the Bills may have improved so did every other team in the division. The Pats have Brady, the Dolphins have Tannehill, the Jets have Ryan Fitzpatrick or maybe they draft one but every team has someone to trust in but the Bills. The clock is ticking on the window of opportunity for the Bills, we have the defense now we just have to trust Rex and hope that lightning can strike again.