The Buffalo Bills have become a trendy offseason pick as a team on the rise and about ready to reach the next level, knocking on the door of the playoffs. Bills RB C.J. Spiller however thinks the Bills are closer to being a Super Bowl team. The Bills are currently in the midst of a 12-year playoff drought, last reaching the post-season in 1999. Since 1999, Buffalo has only posted a season record over .500 once, going 9-7 in 2004.
Speaking this week on Sirius XM radio, Spiller declared the Bills close to being a Super Bowl team. “We split with New England. We had the Giants on the ropes. We are close to being a Super Bowl team. We have to protect the ball.”
I tend to agree with several pundits which like Buffalo’s playoff chances this season. Buffalo started the 2011 season 5-2 and then fell off in the second half. That fade in the second half could be in part to the fact that the Bills haven’t ‘learned’ how to win yet, but I believe that regression was due in part to Ryan Fitzpatrick. He admitted after the season that he was suffering from a rib injury in the second half of the season.
The Bills should be formidable on both sides of the ball. Dave Wannstedt has been named the team’s defensive coordinator this season and he has some weapons to play with this season, especially free agent acquisition, Mario Williams. Buffalo should have the strongest defensive line in their division this season.
On offense, this is a group which should be able to score from any position on the field. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick should eclipse his career numbers last year of 24 scores and 3800 passing yards. They should field a potent rushing attack and head coach Chan Gailey has said that he wants to employ the Wildcat offense this season as well. As for Spiller, I believe he is poised for a breakout season. Reports from various players and coaches have been glowing about Spiller’s confidence and maturity this offseason.
I don’t believe the Bills are ready to overtake the New England Patriots in the AFC East at this point, not as long as the Patriots remain so stacked on offense and with Tom Brady under center. However, I believe that this is a team which could finish the season with 10 wins and make a serious push for a wildcard berth.