Buffalo Bills: 5 Reasons Why They Could Upset in the AFC East
Nobody expects the Buffalo Bills to have a good season, and they should not. After a 4-12 season and an atrocious run defense, the Bills have not done enough to earn people's respect.
This is the NFL, and you never know in this league. The Bills could come out of nowhere, make the playoffs and the New England Patriots could stink. Unlikely, but just an example of why you never know in the NFL.
Let's take a look at five reasons why the Bills can upset the other teams in the AFC East.
5. Nobody Is Expecting It
How do you defeat an enemy who is supposedly greater than you? By catching them off-guard.
After last season, nobody expects anything out of Buffalo. Sure, some people think they will improve, but nobody thinks they have what it take to beat a team like New England.
That could play in Buffalo's advantage.
If teams start to think Buffalo is a pushover, they will learn fast that they are not. Sure, after last season it is fair to assume that you should be able to run all over Buffalo with no problem, but do not think that they have not improved.
Buffalo added Marcell Dareus, Nick Barnett, Kirk Morrison and Kelvin Sheppard all to help stuff the run. Teams will think Buffalo is a joke early on, but will soon find out that they are nothing to laugh about.
Buffalo plays the Patriots early in Week 3. That is early enough for New England to think nothing of Buffalo, and for the Bills to make the ultimate upset and beat the Patriots for the first time since 2003.
4. Run Attack Is Potentially Dominant
Everybody knows Fred Jackson can run.
Oh wait, no they do not! Fred Jackson is going to surprise a lot of casual football fans this year. Jackson was great last year, but did not get a lot of carries until a few games into the season. That changes this season.
Jackson will get a boat-load of carries, and he can be unstoppable. The amount of power he brings with his speed is alarming, and he is almost impossible to tackle with just one man.
Although Fred Jackson is a great player, he does need help. That is where CJ Spiller comes in. Spiller did not get a lot of action last season due to injury and his inability to pass-block, but he will be involved a lot more this season.
With Spiller's lightning speed alongside Jackson's thunderous power, the Bills will have quite the run attack.
Let's not forget about Brad Smith either. He will be getting a lot of carries through wildcat formations and so on. You thought he was dangerous with the Jets? Just wait and see him this season, when he touches the ball almost twice as much as he did last year.
3. Run Defense Could Go from Worst to First
Buffalo's run defense was down right laughable last season. They finished last in the league in rushing yards allowed and let's face it, Jim Brown could have came out of retirement and ran through that defense.
Well, not anymore.
Buffalo lost Paul Posluszny in free agency, but upgraded from Posluszny by signing Nick Barnett. Buffalo also signed Kirk Morrison a week ago.
Buffalo drafted Marcell Dareus third overall to lineup next to Kyle Williams and stuff runners. With Dareus and Williams clogging holes, good luck running on Buffalo.
Let's not forget about Shawne Merriman, who is just as good against the run as he is against the pass.
Buffalo's defense went from laughable to scary in a matter of months. Good luck running against Dwan Edwards, Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams, Shawne Merriman, Nick Barnett, Kirk Morrison and Andra Davis.
2. Shawne Merriman
The Bills pass rush was almost as bad their run defense last season. With Shawne Merriman, that could all change.
Merriman is what the Bills need. He's a dominant pass rusher when healthy, and brings a certain type of winning mentality that Buffalo was lacking.
How do you beat Tom Brady? By getting in his face. Buffalo had nobody to get to Tom Brady last season. Now they do.
How do you beat the Jets? Stop them from running and scare Mark Sanchez. Merriman will be able to stop the run alongside Nick Barnett, Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus. Scaring Sanchez should be no problem for "Lights Out."
How to beat Miami? Just get to Chad Henne and it's all over.
It all starts up front. You have to stop the run and rush the pass. Merriman will help Buffalo do both.
1. Ryan Fitzpatrick
Ryan Fitzpatrick is no Tom Brady, but he is certainly better than Mark Sanchez and Chad Henne.
Fitzpatrick is the quarterback Buffalo needs. He is tough, a good leader and a good player. He is the first serviceable quarterback Buffalo has had since Drew Bledsoe, and would be the first Bills quarterback to take the team to the playoffs since Doug Flutie.
Fitzpatrick is a better quarterback than a lot of people realize, and is good enough to find holes in the Jets' tough defense. Nobody can throw on Derrelle Revis, but the rest of the Jets secondary is shaky.
Miami has a tough defense, but nothing Fitzpatrick should be scared of.
As for New England, their secondary is bad outside of Devin McCourty. They will be no problem for FitzMagic.