2017 NFL Preseason Outlooks: BUFFALO BILLS

2017 NFL Preseason Outlooks: BUFFALO BILLS

BUFFALO BILLS (AFC East)

2016 record: 7-9 (1-5 in Division)

KEY ADDITIONS: HC Sean McDermott, WR Brandon Tate, FB Mike Tolbert

KEY DEPARTURES: HC Rex Ryan, Assistant Head Coach Rob Ryan, CB Stephon Gilmore, RB Mike Gillislee, WR Robert Woods

2016 SEASON RECAP

2016 was an up and down season that must have frustrated Buffalo Bills fans to no end. The Bills started the season 0-2 with close losses to the Ravens and the Jets (each loss by 6 points). The Bills were able to turn it around winning four straight victories including a 16-0 shut out victory on the road against the eventual world champions, New England Patriots. The Bills season would begin to unfold, starting with a 3 game losing streak. The Bills would only win 3 more games all season finishing 7-9 to go along with a 1-5 record in their division.

The collapse in the second half of the season saw the departure of both Rex and Rob Ryan. The Bills weren’t all bad in 2016. The Bills offense scored points in bunches ranking 10th in offense averaging 24.9/G.  LeSean McCoy was stellar in 2016. On the ground McCoy racked up 1,267 yards (5.4 YPC) to go along with 13 TD’s. He also caught 50 receptions for 356 yards and 3 TD’s.

2017 SEASON PREVIEW

The end of the 2016 showed the swift end to the Ryan dynasty and opened the doors to the McDermott era.  The Buffalo Bills defense last season showed signs of promise in the opening part of the 2016 season holding the Ravens to only 7 points in the season opener and then shutting out the New England Patriots in week 4. The Bills were able to hold 7 different opponents to under 20 points in 2016. With Sean McDermott’s defensive prowess, The Bills are sure to tighten up defensively even with the departure of Stephon Gilmore.

Offensively The Bills could be an extremely exciting team to watch in 2017. LeSean McCoy is hitting the prime of his career and is ready to carry the load for his team. With the departure of Mike Gillislee The Bills brought in veteran bruiser Full Back Mike Tolbert. The loss of Gillislee surely increase the burden of work for McCoy, but with Mike Tolbert blocking for McCoy it could certainly open up opportunities. 2017 is absolutely a “prove your worth” season for both Tyrod Taylor and Sammy Watkins. The Bills chose to not exercise Watkins 2018 option. Possibly meaning if Watkins doesn’t prove his salt this may be his last season in Buffalo. Taylor was solid In 2016. As a Quarterback he rushed for 580 yards scoring 6 times on 95 carries.  In the air he threw for 3,023 yards with a 61.7% completion rate. He also protected the ball, only tossing 6 interceptions all season. The problem is, he only scored 17 TD’s not he season. In today’s high powered NFL Taylor is going to have to find away to move the ball and convert for touchdowns.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

QB Tyrod Taylor, RB LeSean McCoy, WR Sammy Watkins

2017 RECORD PREDICTION

8-8