Buffalo Bills: 5 Reasons Bills Aren't for Real in 2011
As the darlings of the young NFL season, many fans are hopping onto the Buffalo Bills bandwagon. They are a young and talented team that is creating buzz for the first time in what seems like forever.
But in the words of Lee Corso, "Not so fast my friends."
The Bills have a lot of things going for them and have shocked almost everyone so far. I did not see many ESPN or NFL analysts with the Bills not only beating the Patriots, but also starting 3-1 and being just seconds away from still being undefeated atop the AFC East.
So, with all the success the Bills have had so far this year, What is stopping them from keeping this momentum for the entire season? Let's take a look and find out.
An Unproven Quarterback
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Ryan Fitzpatrick has been unbelievable so far this season. He is leading one of the top offenses in not only the AFC but the entire NFL. When you look at his numbers and see he is averaging 260 YPG and has 9 TD against 3 INT, it is no wonder that the Bills are sitting at 3-1.
The problem that I saw was in his last game against the Bengals. Fitzpatrick did not reach the 200-yard mark and was not able to lead his team into the end zone, leading Buffalo to their first loss of the season.
We have seen three great games out of Fitzpatrick and now one dud, so what can we expect from him next week?
Will he be the quarterback of one of the top offenses in the league, or will he be the quarterback of the Bills from the last few years? Only time will tell, but because I have seen nothing to the contrary, I think that troubled waters are ahead in Buffalo.
A Tough Division
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The Bills did beat the Patriots, but doing that again would be like catching lightning in a bottle. They had one of the best games of the season and surprised the Patriots and probably themselves along the way.
There are a lot of instances where a home team has upset a better team early in the season, and this is exactly what happened in Buffalo. The Bills rallied behind their fans and the home crowd gave them the ability to come out on top in Week 3.
Buffalo still has to head up to Foxborough in Week 17 and that game will prove to be much more of a challenge than their home game was. When you combine this with the fact that they still have to play the Jets twice this year, it will not be easy sledding the rest of the way.
A Porous Rush Defense
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Marcell Dareus has been a stud in the middle, but the same cannot be said for the rest of the defensive line. The Bills have given up nearly 130 rush yards per game, good enough for 26th best in the league.
They have been torn apart by basically every running back who has come up against them, and their horrible rush defense has given up 4 rushing TD and almost 5 yards per carry on the season.
If the defense continues this trend, it is just a matter of time before the Bills get the ball run all over them on a weekly basis. Stopping the run is the basis of any good defense, and if they cannot find a way to stop the run the defense will continue to suffer.
A Porous Pass Defense
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What was considered one of the Bills major strengths going into the season, the pass defense has been far from what was expected.
With how bad the run defense has been, the Bills have had to load the box and try to stop the run. This leaves the secondary vulnerable to deep passes and big plays, a big component to the Bills letting up 275.5 yards per game in the air.
With players like Jairus Byrd, Leodis McKelvin, Drayton Florence, and Terrence McGee, the Bills thought they could really lean on the secondary. The squad has really underperformed, and is another one of the Bills main problems moving forward. Buffalo has allowed 24 points per game this season, and if this number doesn't go down there will be a lot of problems throughout the rest of the season.
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As good as the Bills have been, it is just hard to see them staying this competitive throughout the season. It is inevitable that the offense will slow down, a team cannot just change over the course of one shortened offseason and expect the results to continue throughout an entire year.
When the offense does slow down, the weaknesses in the defense will begin to shine through and be highlighted even more. At this point, they are simply outscoring their opponents and fans aren't very concerned about their defense. As points become harder to come by later in the year, the holes will be magnified and games will become much tougher for the Bills.