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I believe that Buffalo is still searching for its true identity.
The Bills started out 5-1 in 2011 and then went 1-9 the rest of the way. They need to go on a winning streak early in 2012 to build team confidence that matches the preseason hype that came with the additions of Mario Williams, Mark Anderson, Vince Young and the new draft class.
The Bills open the 2012 season with the New York Jets on the road and close out the 2012 season at home, again against the Jets. Each of these games is going to be very important for the Bills' chances to end the longest current playoff drought in the NFL.
For the Bills to make the playoffs, they simply have to play better in the AFC East, where they have been beaten up lately. The Jets have won five straight games against Buffalo, so if the Bills are to leap frog over New York this year, they will at least have to split the series. But the preferred outcome would be a sweep.
If the Bills happen to drop the season opener, they will still have a number of weeks to rebound from that game.
If the Bills drop the season finale, it could either eliminate them from the playoff picture, or it could deflate whatever momentum they had been trying to build up if they already have clinched a playoff berth.
The other key games are the pair with New England Patriots, as such games are still the measuring stick in the AFC East to see how good a team really is.
The Bills return to prime time in 2012 as they will host the Miami Dolphins on a Thursday night game on the NFL Network, giving the country a chance to see where the team is right now in terms of talent and performance. They should be very excited about that game.
Projected Worst Loss for 2012 Buffalo Bills
Week 11 at home versus the Miami Dolphins on the NFL Network.
The Bills are still trying to boost their national image to the rest of the country and to the NFL players at large.
Signing free agents like Mario Williams, Mark Anderson and Vince Young probably opened some eyes around the NFL to the fact that Buffalo is an up-and-coming team.
The Bills need to win this game to continue spreading a positive image. A loss to Miami would blemish everything.