Buffalo Bills: Winners and Losers at the Season's Quarter Mark
An eventful first quarter of the 2011 NFL season is in the books, which means the Week 6 trade deadline is right around the corner.
The offseason is the best time to conduct trades in the NFL, but some teams aren't able to wait that long. Certain players are at their ideal values, which provides a great scenario for rebuilding teams and for playoff-bound teams in need of a difference maker to work-out deals.
The NFL trade deadline doesn't provide the chaotic level of activity that the NHL or MLB trade deadlines bring, but that doesn't mean there aren't a few intriguing trade scenarios on the horizon this season.
If trades are the inevitable fate of the following three players within the next two weeks, then the NFL will certainly hold its own against other major sports in terms of deadline drama:
Winner: Ryan Fitzpatrick
Ryan Fitzpatrick is off to a fantastic start for the Buffalo Bills. He has the Bills scoring the fourth most amount of points in the NFL, and has helped put them in first place in the AFC East.
Fitzpatrick led Buffalo to two huge comeback wins in consecutive weeks, one being a win over their arch nemesis; the New England Patriots. Fitzpatrick is a hero in Buffalo for that feat alone.
Buffalo would not be 3-1 without Fitzpatrick.
Winners: The Offensive Line
The biggest surprise in Buffalo this season has been the play of the offensive line. In four games, Ryan Fitzpatrick has been sacked twice! That is much improved from the 24 sacks in the 13 games he played in last season.
The offensive line has also been a big reason for Fred Jackson's dominant success. Nobody thought the offensive line would be playing this well, but Buffalo is 3-1 because of it.
Winner: Fred Jackson
Fred Jackson has arguably been the best running back in football so far this season. Wherever Jackson goes, the Bills go. He carried Buffalo to three victories and had another good game on Sunday against Cincinnati.
Fred Jackson is the Bills' best player and their MVP so far this season.
Winner: David Nelson
David Nelson caught a game winning touchdown against the Oakland Raiders, and had a huge game to help beat the New England Patriots.
Nelson has become a nice security blanket for Ryan Fitzpatrick and is Buffalo's go-to-guy on third downs.
Winner: Stevie Johnson
Stevie Johnson is the face of the Buffalo Bills and is arguably the biggest fan favorite in Buffalo. He has emerged as an elite player in the NFL, and the Bills would suffer greatly without him.
A lot of people wondered if Stevie Johnson would be able to handle double coverage without Lee Evans, and he has proved that he can.
Stevie is having another great year.
Winner: Jairus Byrd
Jairus Byrd has been unbelievable this season. He does not have the interception numbers that he had his rookie season, but anybody who watches Buffalo knows that he gets better and better every week.
Byrd is all over the field and has been Buffalo's brightest spot on defense so far this season. The Bills' secondary would be in serious trouble without the Byrd man.
Winner: Nick Barnett
What a signing Buffalo made in Nick Barnett.
He has been playing at a level that Paul Posluszny could never have dreamed of. The Bills made a huge upgrade at linebacker by bringing in Barnett. He is in on every tackle, and has been Buffalo's best defender in the front seven thus far.
Loser: Leodis McKelvin
There are not a lot of losers on a 3-1 football team, but here is one; Leodis McKelvin. Wow, has he been bad?
McKelvin constantly blows coverage and really struggles to make plays on the ball. Every week, the Bills' opposing quarterbacks are attacking McKelvin, and with good reason.
Buffalo really needs to find help at corner back before it is too late. McKelvin could be their Achilles heal all season.
Loser: George Edwards
Defensive Coordinator George Edwards really needs to shape up this defense. Buffalo is allowing way too many points. The Bills are getting no pass rush, and the coverage has been below average. The Bills blitzing schemes, or lack there of, have been predictable and ineffective. Edwards seat is getting warmer by the minute.