In recent projections, USA TODAY predicts that the Buffalo Bills will win their first AFC East division title since 1995.
Even with a tougher schedule, the expectations continue to build for the Buffalo Bills and in recent projections by USA TODAY, the Bills will win the AFC East with a 10-6 record. They are followed by the New England Patriots at 8-8, Miami Dolphins at 6-10 and the New York Jets at 5-11.
While they predict the Bills win the division it clearly doesn’t look like they believe they will run away with the division. The fact that the Patriots are only two wins behind them, the Bills will probably not be able to rest much down the stretch.
It is also interesting to note that the Bills will only have the fifth highest win total in the AFC with the Baltimore Ravens (13-3), Kansas City Chiefs (12-4), Indianapolis Colts (11-5) and Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5) ahead of them.
Based on these projections, the Bills will also have nine games against teams that finish with a .500 record or better. They are also scheduled to play five of the other six playoff teams during the regular season. The only team they wouldn’t play is the Colts in this scenario.
This is certainly not a recipe for success and is probably the reason why the Buffalo Bills are tied for the lowest win total among all the division leaders. However, there is plenty of reason to be optimistic even with a tough schedule.
The Bills didn’t lose any key starters from last season but added depth along the defensive line, star wide receiver Stefon Diggs and rookies A.J. Epenesa and Zack Moss who are expected to contribute this year.
The familiarity the players have with the scheme and coaches should help them get off to a tough start and be in a position to at least match USA TODAY’s projections, if not beat them.