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2014 NFL Power Rankings Countdown: #28 Buffalo Bills

Each day, Mile High Report will reveal the next pre-season ranked team. We are almost smack dab in the middle of a six team section of rankings where the total difference from 26-31 is just 1.2 deviation. The Bills are at #28!
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Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Spor

The Buffalo Bills played a lot of teams tough last year, but still only came out with a 6-10 record in spite of being in one of the league’s worst divisions in football. They have a guy in C.J. Spiller that could potentially be a Hall of Fame kind of player, but the Bills coaching staff seems content to let him get his 6.2 YPC on just a few touches a game. Okay, so it’s not really 6.2YPC, but he did finish with a respectable 4.6 for the season averaging just 12 carries a game.

28. Buffalo Bills (2013 Record: 6-10)

The Bills have the talent to win, but it just isn’t easy to shed the mantra of a loser. They beat the Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens in 2013, while almost taking down the mighty New England Patriots in the first week of the season also. However, that early success faded away to dismal losses to the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Key Losses: Jairus Byrd, Alex Carrington, Arthur Moats

Key Acquisitions: Mike Williams, Corey Graham, Brandon Spikes, Anthony Dixon, Mike Williams, Chris Williams, Keith Rivers

To sum my attitude up; the Bills are, well, the Bills. Once again, it feels like they made a lot of quality moves to be competitive, but they invariably find ways to suck it up every single year. I will withhold buying stock just yet. The Bills really needed help at offensive tackle, tight end and safety. They only addressed one of those positions of need, but it was the most important one.

Being in one of the worst divisions in football will help the Bills schedule, but only if they can somehow find the confidence to win close games. With very winnable games against the Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders, the Bills have a chance to fight their way to .500. However, I just don’t see how they will be able to run the gauntlet against teams like the New England Patriots twice, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears and San Diego Chargers.

Projected Record: 5-11

MHR Staff Rankings

AVG StDev Kyle Tim Ian Topher Pete Scotty Jacob Jon Mike Laurie
27.1 3.54 29 30 30 32 27 28 22 27 21 25

MHR Staff Commentary

Kyle: Big gamble getting Sammy Watkins. EJ Manuel’s isn’t the only future riding on this move - GM Doug Whaley’s is, too.

Jon: The Bills can only go as far as Manuel will take them. We all know how far that is.

Laurie: As a bit of a Clemson fan, I love Sammy Watkins and hope a healthy and more seasoned EJ Manuel can make good use of him to help the Bills compete. But mostly I’d just like to see Mario Williams sack the heck out of Tom Brady.

Pete: I love the Sammy Watkins pick which should aid in E.J. Manuel’s growth. Sadly though, they are still the worst team in probably the worst division in football.

I’d just like to see Mario Williams sack the heck out of Tom Brady. - Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann, MHR

Topher: The Bills are an odd team, I like Manuel’s potential and they have some serious talent at running back and a real stud at WR in Watkins but their defense has lost it’s entire back end and while they have a strong front seven lead by some beasts in Dareus, Williams and Hughes, it just doesn’t seem to be clicking, and with a bad offensive line, that leaves me sceptical, but with a new head coach they may turn it around in a year or two.

Jacob: I like what the Bills did with the front of their draft, bringing in a true number-one wideout in Watkins, and adding Kouandjio to help a relatively weak offensive line. Manuel should progress in 2014, and the tandem of Spiller and Jackson is one of the best in the league (if both can stay healthy). The Bills have a lot going for them on defense, and I think they’ve got what it takes to take the second slot in the league’s worst division. 8-10 wins.

Mike: Buffalo is going to have one hell of a defense and with some 2nd year growth by EJ Manuel and some freakish plays by Sammy Watkins, they might surprise some folks.