There’s no way to know for sure if the Buffalo Bills will or won’t go 16-0 in 2014 until the season arrives. It’s fun to wonder though, what would it take for the Bills to win all 16 games? What would have to go right? How good would E.J. Manuel have to be?
I started wondering about the idea of 16-0 and this article takes a look at how the Bills might navigate games 5-8 without a loss.
Buffalo Bills 41, Detroit Lions 37
Jim Schwartz return to Detroit proves that even if you’ve coached Megatron, you still don’t know how to stop him as Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson connect for multiple TDs. The Bills fight fire with fire all game long though as E.J. Manuel puts together his best game as a Bill, finding Marquise Goodwin twice and Sammy Watkins once for TD strikes. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are steady all game long and help the Bills manage clock in key situations. The Bills take the lead on a Scott Chandler TD late in the game. Stafford starts a strong drive but fumbles on a Kyle Williams sack and the game ends with a knee out. The Bills win a road shoot-out for the first time in ages.
Buffalo Bills 23, New England 20
It will be a great day when the Bills home match-up against the New England Patriots doesn’t translate to the team’s biggest game of the year. To make it more of “just another game on the schedule” the Bills need to start winning. The game plan is pretty simple here – run, run, run to keep the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands. For the most part it works as Brady has his moments but never blows the Bills out of the water. The Bills are steady, scoring here and there. The game is 13-13 heading into the fourth. Both teams score touchdowns. With 3 minutes left the Bills force a New England punt that they return to the 50. The Bills run clock and get inside field goal range just in time to ice it with a last second field goal.
Buffalo Bills 28, Minnesota Vikings 17
Lets say a hypothetical suspension of Marcell Dareus allows him to return for week seven – it would be a welcome return as the Bills prepare for Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings. The Bills register a touchdown each quarter (2 on the ground by Jackson, one via the air to Woods and one by Leodis on a pick six) and really get to Matt Cassel. Peterson busts a big one in the 3rd quarter to make the game 21-10 but it’s not enough. A late TD turns a lopsided game into a more respectable score.
Buffalo Bills 30, New York Jets 10
Nobody knows who will be playing QB come week 8 for the New York Jets but one can bet whoever it is will be wildly erratic. The Jets fail to put up much fight at all and E.J. Manuel has a 250-yard, 3 TD passing game as he returns to the site of one of his worst games from 2013. The Bills move to 8-0 with an impressive clock-cleaning of their AFC East counterparts. The Bills are the talk of the league – which one of their games will get flexed? Are they playoff bound? And, at 8-0, Doug Marrone and company are content to let their play do the talking.