2011 NFL Schedule: 11 Most Winnable Games for the Buffalo Bills
The NFL season starts in less than three days, and all fans are beyond excited.
It is a fresh start for every team. No matter if you won 14 games, or only three last season, everyone is 0-0 starting on Thursday.
The Buffalo Bills won only four games last season, but they are greatly improved and could surprise a lot of people this season, and the playoffs are never out of the question.
To make the playoffs in the AFC East, a team would probably need 11 wins.
Let's take a look at the 11 most winnable games for the Buffalo Bills this season.
11: Week 3 vs the New England Patriots
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Over the last two seasons, the Buffalo Bills have been so close to beating the New England Patriots that the losses have been more heartbreaking than ever.
This is the year that the Bills can, no, HAVE to beat the Patriots.
New England's defense is not so great; they are weak in the secondary and weak at linebacker. With Buffalo's impressive running tandem of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, the Patriots defense will struggle against Buffalo's run attack. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Stevie Johnson and the high-flying pass attack may be too much to handle for the Patriots weak secondary.
Buffalo always struggles on defense against the Patriots, but that could change. With the upgrades the Bills made on defense in Shawne Merriman, Nick Barnett, Kirk Morrison and Marcell Dareus; Tom Brady could be in some serious trouble.
The Bills have a much better shot at winning this matchup than the one in Week 17 because it is early in the season and because it is a home game. The Bills could go into the game 2-0 and knock the stuffing out of the Patriots.
This win would be huge for Buffalo. The confidence they would gain from this victory could carry them to the playoffs alone.
10: Week 9 vs the New York Jets
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The Bills were swept by the New York Jets last season because of one reason: The lack of ability to stop the run.
The Jets had three different running backs go for over 100 yards on Buffalo last season. Watching the Bills try to stop the Jets run attack was sickening, they had no answer for it.
This year will be different.
Buffalo has upgraded both at linebacker and at defensive line. With Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams, Dwan Edwards, Nick Barnett, Kirk Morrison, Andra Davis and Shawne Merriman in the front seven; the Jets will not have an easy time running on Buffalo like they did last season.
As for Buffalo's offense, they will struggle against the Jets defense. Cornerback Darrelle Revis changes the game single-handedly, and linebacker Davis Harris is no joke. But with the giant question mark at defensive line, the Jets could be in some serious trouble with Buffalo's run attack.
This is a home game for Buffalo and would be a big win.
9: Week 6 @ the New York Giants
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Last season, Buffalo would have had zero chance to beat the New York Giants. The Giants run the ball well, and Buffalo would have been destroyed.
Luckily, this is not last season. Buffalo has made huge improvements on defense, and the Giants will not have an easy time running against them.
Buffalo has a lot of talent in the secondary, and the Giants commit a lot of turnovers. There is no reason why the Bills cannot force some turnovers against the Giants with Merriman, Dareus and Williams crashing the line.
The Giants have a lot of injuries on defense, especially in the secondary, and they are weak at linebacker. Their pass rush is mean, but if Buffalo can work around the Giants defensive line, they will be all set.
8: Week 1 @ the Kansas City Chiefs
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The Kansas City Chiefs run better than any team in the NFL, and they are tough for any team to deal with. Stopping the run will be no easy task for Buffalo, even with the improvements they have made on defense.
If Buffalo can stop the run and force Matt Cassell to throw, the Bills could lock this game up in a hurry. Cassell is not a bad quarterback, but he gets rattled easy. With Merriman looking like his old self, Cassell could be in trouble.
That is if Cassell even plays...
Reports came out just the other day that Cassell has cracked ribs and might miss Week 1. If Buffalo has to play against Tyler Palko or Ricky Stanzi, they should wrap it up quick.
The Chiefs defense is not bad, but it is nothing special. The Bills offense should not have that much trouble scoring on them.
7: Week 13 vs the Tennesee Titans
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The Tennessee Titans are a tough team to face for anyone. They have arguably the best running back in the NFL in Chris Johnson, big wide receivers like Kenny Britt, and an experienced quarterback in Matt Hasselbeck.
The Bills defense could be tough, but all defenses struggle to contain Chris Johnson.
The Titans are being underrated so far this offseason. They have a good offense and a tough defense. The Bills should be able to put up a decent amount of points on the Titans, but should not take anything for granted. They still have some good players like Cortland Finnegan and Chris Hope.
6-5: Week 11 @ the Miami Dolphins- Week 15 vs the Miami Dolphins
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The Miami Dolphins should be two wins for the Buffalo Bills this season.
The Dolphins lack a dominant run attack, and their passing offense is almost laughable because of Chad Henne. They have two very good wide receivers in Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess, but Henne's inconsistent play will hold the Dolphins back.
The Dolphins defense is good, but not so good that the Bills will not be able to score. Buffalo should be able to put up points against Miami, and their improved defense should be too much for Miami's struggling offense.
There is no reason why Buffalo cannot sweep the Dolphins this season.
4: Week 2 vs the Oakland Raiders
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The Oakland Raiders can put up 40 points one week, and six points the next. Their inconsistency is what holds them back.
The Raiders have a lot of talent and a lot of speed, but the lack of discipline kills them.
The Raiders defense is solid, but losing Nnamdi Asomugha does not help. The Raiders now have a huge question mark at cornerback. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Stevie Johnson should have fun with the Raiders secondary.
Darren McFadden is a great running back, but the weak Oakland offensive line does not match up well against Buffalo's improved defense.
The Raiders have a load of talent, but Buffalo is a tougher team mentally.
3: Week 16 vs the Denver Broncos
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The Denver Broncos are a team with a lot of question marks. They lack a lot of talent on the defensive line, Knowshown Moreno has not been what the team has wanted him to be, and Kyle Orton is...well...Kyle Orton.
Orton is not a bad quarterback, but come on.
The scariest part about Denver is their pass rush. With Von Miller and Elvis Dumervill rushing the outsides along with Brian Dawkins and Champ Bailey in the secondary, expect a lot of turnovers from the Broncos defense this season.
Denver's pass rush will be tough for Buffalo's shaky offensive line, but the lack of defensive line power could give Fitzpatrick just enough time to pick apart the defense. Jackson and Spiller should not have too hard of a time gaining yards on Denver.
The main reason why this is a winnable game for Buffalo is the Denver offense. They are still not sure what they want to do at quarterback, they do not have a strong running game, and Brandon Lloyd is their only real receiver threat.
Buffalo's improved defense may be too much for Denver's below-average offense.
2: Week 8 vs the Washington Redskins
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The Washington Redskins could be very tough defensively this season with the additions they made. Their running game should be improved and people are very high on Tim Hightower.
So what gives? Why is this such a winnable game for Buffalo?
Rex Grossman and John Beck.
Does any team have a worse quarterback situation that the Washington Redskins? Probably not. Any team whose only options are Rex Grossman and John Beck is obviously not a strong team. And with the inconsistent offensive line, there could be an alarming amount of turnovers from Grossman.
1: Week 4 @ the Cincinnati Bengals
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The Cincinnati Bengals are rebuilding, but they could possibly be the worst team in football this season.
The Bengals lost Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens, Carson Palmer and Johnathan Joseph this offseason. Those are four guys who are not easy to replace.
The Bengals did the right thing in the draft, though. They got a new quarterback and wide receiver to start over with in Andy Dalton and A.J. Green.
With a rookie quarterback and rookie No. 1 wide receiver, the Bengals could be in serious trouble. A lot of pressure will be on Cedric Benson to carry the offense, and that will only take them so far.
This should be an easy win for the Buffalo Bills. With the improved defense, Andy Dalton could be in real trouble against the Bills.