NFL Buffalo Bills: Five Players Who Will Carry Their Hot Start This Season

Josh TrueloveCorrespondent IIISeptember 2, 2011

NFL Buffalo Bills: Five Players Who Will Carry Their Hot Start This Season

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    While there are always the people who say that it is "only preseason," NFL preseason football is very important.

    The preseason gives us all a chance to see what rookies, guys coming off of injuries and new players are capable of.

    The Buffalo Bills had plenty of showcases of rookies, players coming off of injuries and new players. Some better than others, but all showed what they are capable of.

    Let's take a look at five players who played well in the preseason and need to carry it into the regular season.

5. Scott Chandler

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    The Buffalo Bills have been lacking a good tight end for years.

    It was a quiet move when they claimed Scott Chandler off of waivers from the Dallas Cowboys, but it might not be as quiet for much longer.

    Chandler has gotten a chance to play with the starting offense this preseason and has performed well enough to start. He has blocked well and caught a few passes. Ryan Fitzpatrick seemed to have some good chemistry with Chandler as well.

    If Scott Chandler continues his solid play at tight end, he will be a nice weapon for Buffalo's explosive offense led by Fitzpatrick.

4. CJ Spiller

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    CJ Spiller needed to prove he can hang with the starting offense after a disappointing rookie season, and he did.

    Spiller looked explosive every time he touched the ball and was a mismatch for each team Buffalo played against. At times he looked better than Fred Jackson.

    There have been reports that said the starting running back job is Spiller's to lose. That could be possible, but not likely. 

    Spiller looked very impressive last preseason too, but he failed to carry it on into the regular season. Fred Jackson was a force to be reckoned with in the regular season and will be again this year.

    Either way, Buffalo has a dangerous two-headed monster, but CJ Spiller needs to carry his hot preseason start into the regular season.

3. Ryan Fitzpatrick

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    Ryan Fitzpatrick played decent in the first two preseason games with limited snaps. The struggles he did have stemmed from poor offensive line play.

    In the third preseason game, Fitzpatrick began to figure out the offensive line and had an incredible game. Fitzpatrick went 11-12 for 165 yards and two touchdowns, including a beautiful deep ball to Stevie Johnson. Fitzpatrick had a perfect passer rating that game.

    If Ryan Fitzpatrick continues his mean streak into the regular season, the Bills will be just fine. Fitzpatrick played well last year, and will most likely do even better this season now that he has played an entire preseason as the Bills' starter and has more experience.

2. Marcell Dareus

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    Marcell Dareus had a very impressive preseason for a rookie. He was in the backfield a lot and racked up a few sacks.

    The Bills' defensive front was nothing short of pathetic last season. Buffalo desperately needs Dareus to step up and do what they drafted him to do, which is stuff the run.

    If Dareus continues to play the way he has, Buffalo's defensive front will be scary with the big rookie lined up next to Kyle Williams.

1. Shawne Merriman

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    Shawne Merriman played only sparingly this preseason, but he was scary. He ripped through offensive lines like it was 2007 and was turning out the lights up and down the field.

    Reports came out all training camp about how impressive Merriman was, but a lot of people were skeptical.

    Well, if you saw him play against the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions, you would know why people are excited. Merriman appears to be back to old form, but it is only preseason. So, we will see.

    Buffalo desperately needs Merriman to return to somewhat of what he used to be. Without Merriman, Buffalo's pass rush will be the same as last season... TERRIBLE!

    If Merriman continues to dominate like he has, Buffalo will be in for a treat.

    Shawne Merriman could be a strong candidate for comeback player of the year.