Cleat Geeks

HOMER’S NFL ODYSSEY(4): Buffalo Bills

Welcome to Homer’s NFL Odyssey! Like the original hero Odysseus we will journey from NFL shore to NFL shore. Casting a light on each NFL squad and their 2015 fortunes from the perspective of a “Homer”. An upbeat tale of NFL fandom illuminating the chances of the your favorite team in a completely favorable light. This is the ultimate guide to your favorite team told from the perspective of a “Homer”.

 

BUFFALO BILLS

QB: I know something you may not know. The starting QB for the Buffalo Bills in 2015 will not be former 1st round pick EJ Manuel or journeyman Matt Cassel. It won’t be Kevin Kolb, Matt Simms or Kyle Orton either. The starting QB for the Buffalo Bills in 2015 and far beyond is Tyrod “Toolbit” Taylor. A mixture of NFL caliber arm and elite legs. The man can run. Flat out and in avoiding pressure. Tyrod can slide out with the protection when required. Tyrod can get to the edge for those cheap gains when defenses decide to play back. Most importantly, Tyrod can buy time in the backfield. Time kills, especially when you have the weapons Tyrod has on the receiving end of his throws.

 

RB: During the off-season the Bills got Shady at RB. That reads two ways. LeSean McCoy joins Buffalo’s backfield in a workhorse capacity. They dynamic do-everything style McCoy provides is a perfect fit for what will be a rush heavy offense under Rex Ryan. With a very nice compliment of Fred Jackson, Boobie Dixon and Bryce Brown the Bills are in for a monster season on the ground. We may even get the joy of seeing some Percy Harvin backfield action.

WR/TE: Speaking of Percy Harvin. The WR duo of 2014 1st round stud Sammy Watkins and the ultra flexible Percy Harvin is in line to light up the NFL. The previous mentioned Tyrod Taylor will be a big part of their success. Imagine what another second or two will do for this tandem and their ability to break open downfield. Mix in Robert Woods and a slew of other solid targets behind them and you have the makings of an electric unit. New TE Charles Clay brings a great mix of blocking and interior receiving to this unit. An important cog in Buffalo’s offensive scheme. The Buffalo offense is going to explode in 2015. With a lot of the thanks going to the big guys up front.

 

OL:  A solid unit packed with individual emerging and known studs. From 2014 2nd round pick Cyrus Kouandjio through redemption seeking veteran Richie Incognito. The OLine is primed and more than capable of both protecting the quarterback and creating lanes in the run game. Like the rest of this offensive unit the OLine will shine in 2015.

 

Defense: This is where the Bills stand apart from most teams in the NFL. A truly dominating and pocket destroying pass rush. Led by the “Four Horseman of the Buffacolypse”. Mario Williams, Marcell Dareus, Jerry Hughes and Kyle Williams compromise the heart of the best pass rushing defensive line in football. Playing off that DLine excellence is a group of LBs consisting of both veteran wiles and evolving talent. Manny Lawson, Nigel Bradham and Preston Brown will provide plenty of excitement from the 2nd level of the defense. Turning to the secondary we find a wealth of playmakers and ballhawks. Leodis McKelvin, Stephon Gilmore, Corey Graham and 2015 2nd round pick Ronald Darby make for a group of CBs unrivaled by any other team in the NFL. Aaron Williams, Duke Williams and Bacarri Rambo cover the safety positions with equal excellence. The line creates the pressure the DBs and LBs clean up the mistakes. A dangerous and opportunistic defense awaits Buffalo opponents in 2015.

 

Coaching: Rex Ryan and his rock pounding, defense first philosophy has come to Buffalo. Joining Rex’s staff is Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman and Defensive Coordinator Dennis Thurman. two perfect compliments to the direction the Head Coach intends to take these Bills. There is no better motivator in the NFL than Rex. The aggressive tendencies and abstract playbook of Ryan defenses fits the personnel perfectly. This is a match made in Canton.

 

Division Outlook:

New England won the Super Bowl in 2014. Big deal. What does that have to do with 2015? Caught in the midst of “Deflate-Gate” and likely without their starting and cheating QB Tom “the face” Brady. New England will stumble out of the gate without Brady and never recover. Slow plodding WR group. A receiving group in general that lacks explosiveness beyond TE Rob Gronkowski. The RB position is manned by Legarrette Blount, a journeyman on his 2nd stint with the team. Known because he once jumped over a guy in TB. Shane Vereen is gone and the NE answer was bringing in Travaris Cadet formerly from NOs. James White the 2nd year back is most likely involved to some degree as well. All 3 underwhelming and nearly a non-concern when it comes to big play ability. The defense has been altered greatly from 2014 and I think the change in personnel manifests itself very clearly on Sundays. No Island, no Browner and no Wilfork, among others, means this defense plummets from what was a barely above average unit in 2014. New England’s days of wine and roses are over, starting 2015.

Miami is supposed to be a rising young team. According to all the chatter. I do not see any reason to buy it. The offense is still quarterbacked by marginal talent Ryan Tannehil.  Smallish uninspiring RB Lamar Miller leads the RB group. In addition the best WR on the team was jettisoned off to Minnesota and the intended replacements are an unproven 2nd year Jarvis Landry, unproven 3rd year Kenny Stills, declining Greg Jennings and brittle rookie Devante Parker.  Since Buffalo took their talented TE in the free agent market MIA turned to Cleveland cast off Jordan Cameron. Another play with hype but nearly no showcase. Including the OLine this is a rather mundane unit on offense.  So MIA spent a fortune on defense. Suh what? I remember the Albert Haynesworth to Washington move as well. A player in one city may not be the same player in another. I see Suh falling flat in his new surroundings. Beyond Suh the defense consists of marginal talent and high draft picks who border on bust designation. A win will happen when the Bills take their many talents to South Beach.

The New York Football Yets. As in yet again in flux. As in yet again not a playoff contender. Geno Smith is the QB who should not be an NFL QB. The arm is marginal and the awareness is non-existent. The RB group is a laughable fusion of wannabes and never weres”. Led by Chris Ivory is all you need to know. The Jets grabbed Eric Decker in 2014 and Brandon Marshall in 2015. Even drafted Devon Stills in this year’s draft. None of it matters when your QB cannot run the offense and the OLine is incapable of providing security. This offense is a victim when facing a defense the likes of Buffalo’s. Rex is gone and so is his defensive scheme. The drop off is unavoidable. Even with the overpriced addition of Revis and the existence of some talent scattered in other positions the NYJ Defense will suffer without the leadership of Rex Ryan. This is a team unprepared to deal with neither the offensive nor defensive firepower coming out of Buffalo.

 

2015 OUTLOOK:

New England will falter. Miami will fail to achieve high expectations. The Jets will still be just awful. It will take extreme effort from the entire Bills organization. It will take sacrifice and it will take heart. In the end the Buffalo Bills will reign as 2015 AFC East Champions. En route to the playoffs and a march to the Super Bowl. The Bills led by their great D and soon to be star QB Tyrod “Toolbit” Taylor will run roughshot over their competitors. In 2015 nobody circles the Super Bowl wagons like these Buffalo Bills.

 

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