When I started watching Buffalo Bills football at age 6, I expected that the Bills would win every game. Granted, I probably had more youthful naivete at this young age, but in 1990, the Bills did win almost every game. Ask any Dan Marino/Miami Dolphins fan out there, Jim Kelly and the Bills were the superior team in the AFC. Needless to say, these days are long gone, and with them, my seemingly limitless Bills optimism. It’s much tougher to be optimistic about these Bills. However, I do enjoy playing devil’s advocate at times, and you can find articles about how hopeless the Bills season is anywhere. So here is putting faith in the feeling that hope springs eternal for all NFL fans as training camp opens (I better double-check with Lions’ fans on that), and this is the absolute best case scenario for the upcoming Bills season:
Trent Edwards, now released from the clutches of Dick Jauron’s evil plot to play the most conservative, boring offense imaginable, reverts back to the form we saw in the first six games on 2008. At that time, he wasn’t talked about around town as Captain Checkdown, but rather, spoken about on national television shows as an MVP favorite after a 5-1 start. He rises above the competition from former 2nd round pick Brian Brohm, grasps Chan Gailey’s new offense, and shows why the late Bill Walsh recommended him to Marv Levy a few years ago.
Chan Gailey proves to be an underrated hire, running an offense which is designed to accentuate the strengths of the talent on the squad, and turns the Bills into a viable offensive threat. This means moving Lee Evans around in the offense, taking advantage of Shawn Nelson’s pass catching abilities, finding a niche for Roscoe Parrish as a receiver/playmaker and utilizing Thurman Tho… C.J. Spiller as an effective runner and pass receiver, to complement Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch. Also, it entails putting in a blocking scheme that allows for a young offensive line that gained valuable experience last year to excel, and be an anchor for the offense for years to come.
The defense, which had the number 2 pass defense in the NFL a year ago, adjusts to the 3-4 defense beautifully and becomes stout in all phases. They follow the mold of Green Bay’s transition to the 3-4 last season, in which the Packers became the #1 run defense in the NFL (allowing about half of the running yards Buffalo did last season). The stagnant pass rush is reinvigorated by the confusing front sevens opposing offenses must now face, and Aaron Maybin becomes a Cornelius Bennett-type presence on the outside. Drafting Torell Troup over Terrence Cody (don’t worry, I checked, that link IS safe for work) in the second round turns out to be a brilliant move by Buddy Nix, and the revamped defense carries the team.
The Patriots continue to fall back to the pack, with Tom Brady playing scared (without the security of a new contract extension) and Wes Welker unable to overcome injury. The Jets’ and Dolphins’ busy offseasons of upgrading talent go for naught as the sophomore slumps of Chad Henne and Mark Sanchez are their undoing.
If all goes to plan and the Bills can surprise a few teams, they might even be able to DOUBLE the win total expected by national experts and easily climb to a sterling… 8-8 record?