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Monday, August 27, 2012

View From 122….2012 Outlook

By FantasyBoyz Editor in Chief Corey Bugenhagen

With three preseason games in the books there appears to be panic building in Bills-nation.  Three straight lackluster performances, all resulting in losses has Bills fans wondering if they are in store for yet another losing season.  After 12 years of futility no one could blame them.  While the losses don’t install great confidence my strong outlook for this team and this season is unwavering.  Below are the reasons why I feel this team makes the playoffs.

Dominating Defensive line:
The view looks good from here
The Defensive line underwent a massive transition this off season with the additions of Mario Williams and Mark Anderson, not to mention getting Kyle Williams back from injury.  It is clear even in limited action this preseason that unit will be dominate.   Marcel Dareus has been like a bull in a China shop and will be tough to block one on one.  The key here is that all 4 starters are players that warrant extra attention.  Since there is no way an Oline can double team all of them there are going to be match-up advantages on every play.  This bodes well for a young Linebacking and Cornerback core.  

Ability to run the ball:
What is the perfect complement to a shutdown Defense you ask…. A strong running game.  The Bills proved they were more than capable of running the ball at a very high yard per carry rate.  The roster also contains two high end backs in Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller.   The best part is they both can do it all in both the running and passing game.  Add in Tashard Choice as a competent third back and it is clear the Bills will have no problem moving the ball on the ground.

Solid Offensive Line:
Looking at the names that man the Bills offensive line and probably none of them jump off the page at you.  The good news is the roster is filled with talented and very versatile linemen, which is not something that could be said about Bills teams of most of the last 10 plus seasons.   The line is anchored by Center Eric Wood who when healthy is Pro Bowl Caliber. Andy Levitre and Craig Urbick are solid guards who themselves can play multiple line positions.  Left tackle is now manned but stud second round pick Cordy Glenn.  In preseason Glenn has not looked out of place and won the LT position outright.  The Right tackle is still up for grabs between last year’s starter Eric Pears and last years starting LT Chris Hairston.  Either way the winner of that battle will be solid as will the line as a whole.

Strength of Schedule:
The Bills 2012 schedule is littered with very winnable games.  12 of the 16 games are against teams with either a losing schedule or an unsettled QB situation (7 of which with rookie or 1st year starter).   This bodes well for a team in the Bills that will most certainly bring pressure to the QB. 
All in all the offseason upgrades and schedule filled with winnable games I see the Bills as a clear bet to finally break that 12 year playoff hiatus and bring some excitement back to Western New York in December.  Nothing is a given of course but the people out there with a sky is falling mentality due to preseason need to take a step back and a couple deep breaths.

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