In the 2014 NFL Draft the Buffalo Bills moved their 2015 First Round pick to the Cleveland Browns as a apart of a package to move up to select Sammy Watkins. That pick will be valuable no matter what. It allowed the Browns to select Justin Gilbert a little later in the first round while stockpiling for next year as well. An extra first rounder can be used in a number of ways including trades but is most useful as a way to add premier talent at a cheap cost. Because of this trade Browns fans, and their front office will be following the Bills all season. Lets start by looking at their schedule in a few ways:
The Bills play in a division where 2 losses seem guaranteed but beyond those New England Patriots games little else is known. There would be no surprise if the Bills won both, lost both or split with the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. The Dolphins are replacing 4 of their 5 starting offensive linemen but have a young QB, solid receivers and a good front 7. The Jets on the other hand have a great defense with a QB battle between Geno Smith and Michael Vick and very little known at receiver outside of Eric Decker.
QBs on the Schedule
Besides the noted 2 games against Tom Brady, either Smith or Vick and Ryan Tannehill the Bills also face a interest balance of QBs. At the top end, along with Brady, are games against Jay Cutler, Philip Rivers, Matthew Stafford, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers. Somewhere in the middle is Tannehill, Vick, Brian Hoyer and Alex Smith. At the low end of their spectrum is Matt Schaub, Matt Cassell and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The Bills don’t have 2 road games in a row that will be ultra tough. Even their back to back home games don’t have 2 QBs in a row from the top shelf of their opponents. The one area of their schedule that will be the toughest starts with a game against the Browns. Following the late November game is games in Denver against Manning then at home against Rogers. They end the season against Brady, which could be a game that the Pats sit their starters which is a negative for the Browns.
The Bills just loss Kiko Alonso, the star of their defense and its quarterback. The Bills have 2 key players, one being Alonso, whose injuries could greatly impact their season. As seen last year any injury to E.J. Manuel could be deadly to the team’s results. Manuel has had injury history and will need to be protected, sometimes from himself when he runs, to keep this team moving forward. Backups Thad Lewis and Jeff Tuel showed little promise last year.
Week 1 – Away – Chicago Bears – Loss
Week 2 – Home – Miami Dolphins – Win
Week 3 – Home – San Diego Chargers – Loss
Week 4 – Away – Houston Texans – Win
Week 5 – Away – Detroit Lions – Loss
Week 6 – Home – New England Patriots – Loss
Week 7 – Home – Minnesota Vikings – Win
Week 8 – Away – New York Jets – Loss
Week 9 – BYE WEEK
Week 10 – Home – Kansas City Chiefs – Loss
Week 11 – Away – Miami Dolphins – Loss
Week 12 – Home – New York Jets – Win
Week 13 – Home – Cleveland Browns – Loss
Week 14 – Away – Denver Broncos – Loss
Week 15 – Home – Green Bay Packers – Loss
Week 16 – Away – Oakland Raiders – Win
Week 17 – Away – New England Patriots – Loss
Predicted Record - 5-11
1st Round Pick
With that prediction the Bills would most likely be selecting in the Top 10 again. Last year a 5-11 record would of earned the 9th spot, where the Bills were slotted. Based on the wins we predicted for the Bills they could easily only win 2 or 3 or they could pull off a sweep of the Jets and Dolphins and quickly bump their record closer to .500. A 8-8 season would give the Browns the Bills pick between 14 and 19 based on last year’s results. Unlike the Colts last year, Browns fans can feel some assurance that this pick will be in the top half based on all the information above.
What record do you predict for the Bills? What pick are you expecting?