Jul 31, 2015; Pittsford, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (right) talks with wide receivers Sammy Watkins (14) and Deonte Thompson (80) during training camp at St. John Fisher College. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
2) Buffalo Bills
I’m sure there will be lots of cries of “oh what a surprise, the Buffalo Bills website has put them in second place”. However, if it’s any consolation to Dolphins fans, I had a tough time, going back and forth several times, attempting to decide who was more worthy of the number two spot in these power rankings.
In any event, this is probably the Bills most talented rosters since they last made the playoffs back in 1999. Everywhere you look, there’s reason to be optimistic about the new season.
Understandably, the easiest place to find this optimism is with the defense, which ranked fourth last season in terms of both yards and points allowed. Who can forget how they made esteemed quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers look like mere mortals?
Now, throw in the defensive pedigree of new head coach Rex Ryan, and the sky’s the limit. All indications are that this defense will be just as good as last season, if not better.
The offensive side of the ball also received a big boost, with the addition of LeSean McCoy, just two seasons removed from leading the NFL in rushing yards. On top of that, bringing in Charles Clay and Percy Harvin can only help open up the field in the passing game, of particular benefit to Sammy Watkins.
Of course, all this will not count for much, if the Bills can’t resolve their biggest weakness on the roster – the quarterback situation. There’s no denying that the trio of Matt Cassel, EJ Manuel and Tyrod Taylor doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. (There is also still some concern over the offensive line, which was unimpressive last year, but they should improve – not that this would take much – helped in part by the addition of Richie Incognito.)
However, I’m convinced this won’t impact the team as much as some fans fear – heck, don’t forget the early success Ryan had in New York (Jersey) with Mark Sanchez as the main man under center. They won’t overtake the Patriots in the standings, but I’m convinced (deluded?) the Bills are finally headed back to the playoffs.
Next: Fighting for second place