2012 Buffalo Bills Preview
Now that the Detroit Lions have made the playoffs, the Buffalo Bills are the owners of the longest current playoff drought in the NFL, at 12 seasons. Buffalo teased its faithful fanbase last year with early success, but again faltered during the second half of the season. This year the Bills have just about everybody back, and they’ve made some nice additions, for their third season under Coach Gailey. Is this the year the Bills finally return to the postseason?
Last Year in Review
The Buffalo Bills started 5-2 with the help of great comeback victories over the Raiders and the hated Patriots. Then again, they were bad enough to fall way behind in both those games.
With the going good they signed QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to a long contract. The Bills then proceeded to win just one of their last nine games, as the defense struggled and Fitzpatrick threw 16 interceptions.
So Buffalo finished at 6-10 for its seventh-straight losing season.
Not only that, but the Bills’ win over New England was their only divisional victory of the season. They’re now 2-10 vs. their AFC East rivals the last two years.
That particular stat must change if Buffalo is going to get back to the postseason.
Buffalo ranked 14th in offense last year at 352 YPG, 25th in defense, allowing 371 YPG, and 19th in total yardage at -19 YPG.
Breaking things down a bit the Bills ranked 13th in rushing at 120 YPG, but 28th vs. the run, coughing up 139 YPG, and 24th in total rushing at -19 YPG. League-wide last year teams that outrushed their opponents won 74 percent of games outright and covered the point spread 69 percent of the time.
Buffalo also ranked 30th in sacks with just 29, which put terrible pressure on the defensive backfield.
Finally, the Bills went just 6-9-1 ATS, and 1-4 ATS as favorites. And Buffalo went 11-4-1 on the ‘over/unders,’ as Bills games averaged 50 points per, sixth-most in the league.
Buffalo pulled off a coup over the off-season when it lured DE Mario Williams away from Houston. And they bolstered the pass rush by adding DT Mark Anderson, who had 10 sacks for New England last year.
The Bills then used the tenth overall pick in the draft to nab South Carolina DB Stephon Gilmore.
Last year Buffalo used its first four picks in the draft on defense. So the Bills are hoping the young talent on that side of the ball can step up and make an impact very soon. As in this season.
The Bills also added Vince Young to back up Fitzpatrick. Imagine that; the Heisman Trophy winner backing up a guy from Harvard.
Based on last season’s records Buffalo will play the third-easiest schedule this season. The Bills play just four games against teams that made the playoffs last year, and for their inter-conference games the AFC East gets the mediocre NFC West. So the stars might be aligned to help put an end to that playoff drought.
2012 Buffalo Bills Betting Odds
Buffalo is getting +1025 at 5Dimes to win the AFC East this season, and 30/1 and 50/1 at Bovada to win the AFC championship and the Super Bowl. The Bills have also been pegged with a regular-season wins ‘over/under’ of seven. Yes, Buffalo fans, this could be the year the Bills finally break through. The offense returns basically intact; the O line, which has been a problem in recent seasons, should be better; the defense has been bolstered; and the schedule is kind. We’re not sure if Buffalo will win its division, but we do like the ‘over’ on the wins total.