The Buffalo Bills got off to a promising start during the 2008 campaign, winning five of their first six games. However, the rest of the season was plagued by a struggling offense that ranked as one of the five worst in the NFL.
The Bills completely lost their momentum after the Trent Edwards concussion, closing out the year losing eight of their last 10 games. The Bills were held to a mere 305 yards per game last season and could never establish any consistency on the ground or through the air.
Their defense was mediocre, holding teams to 326 total yards per game. The defense could have performed better if the offense could have kept them off the field.
Buffalo's main focus heading into 2009 must be their division games. The Bills are in a difficult AFC East division and must find a way to hold their ground. Buffalo composed a winless 0-6 record in the AFC East last year and will need some divisional wins in order to have a successful season.
Buffalo made a solid draft choice, selecting defensive end Aaron Maybin with the number 11 selection in the first round. Maybin was a solid defensive force for the Penn State Nittany Lions last season. Maybin is a smaller, more athletic type of defensive end that has speed and tenacity. He will likely be a solid pass rusher at the next level.
Buffalo also drafted center Eric Wood late in the first round at the number 28 selection. Wood was drafted to help rebuild the line after the loss of Jason Peters.
Note: Buffalo could have used the late first round pick and sought after some playmakers at the receiver position to help the struggling offense.
Second round pick Jairus Byrd is an electric player that racked up 17 interceptions during his career with the Oregon Ducks. Byrd does not possess the height you may love to see out of your average corner back, but makes up for it with his knack for making big plays.
Outside of the NFL Draft, the biggest offseason move was when Buffalo managed to grab Terrell Owens from the Dallas Cowboys. Love him or hate him, Owens finds a way to make plays and could hopefully help turn around the Bills poor passing game.
The 2009 Buffalo Bills will attempt to get things headed in the right direction quickly. Defensively, the Bills will be pretty similar, other than the addition of Maybin, who finally got his contract in order.
Paul Posluszny and Kawika Mitchell will lead the defensive efforts, however, the defense could be more effective if they can get some help from the offense. Offensively, Trent Edwards will try to find a way to move the ball down the field and find his target, wide receiver Terrell Owens.
Hopefully Owens can be the threat needed on offense that will allow other receivers like Evans the opportunity to make plays. It will be interesting to see how Owens keeps his composure if he and Edwards are not able to hook up early and often.
Running back Marshawn Lynch had a 1,000 yard season in 2008, but reports have indicated that he has been battling ankle problems during the offseason. Behind Lynch there is not much help; in addition, with his 3 game suspension for off field conduct to be served during the first three weeks of the season, Buffalo's passing game will have to be effective early.
The Buffalo Bills 2009 campaign will start off in Gillette Stadium where they will battle the New England Patriots. The Bills will then face a crucial five game stretch that will likely indicate how the season should unfold.
Games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns will be very capable wins. The Bills will also get the chance to knock off the Miami Dolphins or the New York Jets in that five game stretch; this would build upon the aforementioned divisional confidence.
2008 repeats itself as the Bills go 7-9 and finish fourth in the AFC East, but at least they manage to win a division game or two.