‘The Ringer’ Predicts an Improved 2017 Season for the Buffalo Bills

Jan 13, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott speaks during a press conference at AdPro Sports Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 13, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott speaks during a press conference at AdPro Sports Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /

In a recent article, Danny Kelly of ‘The Ringer’ predicts that the Buffalo Bills will see an improvement next season.

The article was titled ‘The Unfortunate Four‘ and it outlined four teams that are bound to have better seasons in 2017 than in 2016 — Buffalo Bills being one of them. Going off what the title says, Danny Kelly believes these four teams were on the short end of the stick when it came to luck last season — hence, “the unfortunate four.”

The other three teams were the Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles.

Of course, the Buffalo Bills could use an improvement more than the other three and that can be proven when you look at the team’s current playoff droughts. The Buffalo Bills have been out of the playoffs for 17 straight years, whereas the other three teams COMBINE for just 7 years out of the playoffs.

Kelly noted in the article that these four teams were victims of bad luck last season, whether that stemmed from injuries, lost fumbles, bad kicks, bad calls by the refs — I mean, the list goes on. The NFL is a game that requires a lot of talent, but every year we see luck play a big factor in a team’s success — or the lack of it.

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According to Kelly, the Eagles were victims of poor execution in one-score games, the Vikings were victims of injuries, lost fumbles and a bad kicker, while the Chargers saw the injury bug all too often last season.

For the Buffalo Bills, it was all of the above. The team suffered key injuries all season long, never catching a break. Off-the-field distractions played a part as well, while poor execution down the stretch, bad coaching and a kicker that under-performed all chipped in to the disappointing season.

After all that, Danny Kelly still believes that the Buffalo Bills will figure it out this offseason and will see improvement next season. With a lot of players returning from injury, an entirely new coaching staff and a different mindset, Buffalo could definitely see a better record than 7-9 in 2017.

Here’s what Danny Kelly had to say about the injuries suffered last season:

"Much like the Chargers, the injury bug got Buffalo early on this season. Their top pick in last year’s draft, defensive end Shaq Lawson, missed the first six games recovering from offseason shoulder surgery; and their second-round pick, projected starting inside linebacker Reggie Ragland, tore his ACL in training camp. Dealing with complications from offseason foot surgery, Sammy Watkins spent half of the season on the injured reserve, and in the eight games he did play, he was a shadow of himself. To top it all off, the Bills lost Pro Bowl center Eric Wood to a broken leg in Week 9."

Here’s what he had to say about the poor execution:

"In the end, the Bills finished 7–9 with a plus-20 point differential. That put them 1.66 Pythagorean wins below expectation, and while they weren’t quite as bad as the Eagles in this regard, the Bills finished 2–5 in one-score games, losing by three points to the Dolphins twice, by six to the Jets and Seahawks, and by a touchdown to the Steelers."

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And lastly, the poor kicking from Dan Carpenter:

"Adding to all this, kicker Dan Carpenter struggled badly as well. He missed five extra points on the year — only Seattle’s Steven Hauschka and Cincinnati’s Mike Nugent missed more (six) — and after connecting on 85 percent or better on field goal attempts in each of his previous three seasons as a Bill, his accuracy dipped to 76 percent in 2016. His two missed field goals (from 45 and 46 yards, respectively) in Buffalo’s 34–31 Week 16 loss to the Dolphins, which eliminated the Bills from the playoffs. There are still plenty of issues with the defense, but new head coach Sean McDermott could see some improvement for no reason other than a couple of more bounces going his team’s way."

My opinion might be a little biased, but I firmly bill-ieve the Buffalo Bills will see improvement next season. I think if the team can stay healthy, add some key pieces to the roster and work out some of the bugs in their gameplans, they can definitely turn out a winning season next year — possibly even have a strong chance at the playoffs.

Of course, that will all depend on how this offseason turns out.

For now, it’s nice to see some outsiders having faith in this team. It sure is a breath of fresh air.

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What do you think the Buffalo Bills‘ record will be next season? Leave your comments below!