Breaking Down The 2015 Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills were the most improved team last season, mostly on defense, and they may very well be the most improved team this year as well. A renovated stadium, a new head-coach, a new running back and a wideout to compliment Sammy Watkins. Every where except for where it counts, at QB.

A month into the season last year, new owner Terry Pegula took control of the franchise that went on to finish the season with a 9-7 record and missed the playoffs. Head coach Doug Marrone exercised an option in his contract and opted out of his contract in hopes of easily landing another head coaching position at another club. He guessed wrong, and he is now the offensive line coach in Jacksonville.

Who did Pegula bring in? Former New York Jets’ coach Rex Ryan, a hire has rejuvenated the fan base in Buffalo and around the league. Love him or hate him, Rex Ryan excites people and makes football fun to watch, especially the two games against hated foe New England.

Buffalo hasn't made the playoffs since 1999, when they lost to the Tennessee Titans on the play now remembered as the Music City Miracle and are listed 33/1 to win Super Bowl 50. Click here for more Super Bowl 50 odds. Have the Bills added enough big guns on offense to the defense that they impoved in 2014 make a run at it?

“I think we’ll be in (the playoffs) this year,” Ryan told ESPN, later adding, “I can guarantee you one thing: Teams aren’t going to want to play us, I can tell you that much. You’ll see.” But with Matt Cassel, EJ Manuel, Matt Simms and Tyrod Taylor, the Bills’ quarterback situation is a mess and without Orton, who saved their season last year, the playoffs are a tough sell.

“Will I have a chip on my shoulder?” Ryan said. “Absolutely, and it will be fun. I know one thing: We ain’t hiding, we ain’t hiding from anybody — New England, the Jets, anybody else. We’ll take on all challenges, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Buffalo Bills 2015 Betting Preview

Can Rex Ryan quench the 15 year playoff drought in Buffalo?

  • 2014 Season Summary: 9-7-0, Finished 2nd in AFC East Division, missed the playoffs.
  • Points Scored: 343 points (21.4/g), 18th of 32 in the NFL.
  • Points Allowed: 289 points (18.1/g), 4th.
  • Coach: Rex Ryan
  • Offensive Coordinator: Greg Roman
  • Defensive Coordinator: Dennis Thurman
  • Stadium: Ralph Wilson Stadium

Buffalo Bills 2015 Betting Odds:

  • To Win Super Bowl 50 +3800
  • To Win the AFC +1400
  • To Win the AFC East +450

Buffalo Bills Betting Trends:

  • 2014 Overall Against the Spread Record: 9-7
  • ATS Record at home: 4-4
  • ATS Record away from home: 5-3
  • ATS Record as favorites: 3-5
  • ATS Record as underdogs: 6-2
  • Over/Under Record: 3-13

AFC East 2014 Standings:

AFC East W L T PCT PF PA HOME ROAD DIV PCT AFC PCT NFC STREAK
New England 12 4 0 .750 468 313 7-1 5-3 4-2 .667 9-3 .750 3-1 Lost 1
Buffalo 9 7 0 .562 343 289 5-3 4-4 4-2 .667 5-7 .417 4-0 Won 1
Miami 8 8 0 .500 388 373 4-4 4-4 3-3 .500 6-6 .500 2-2 Lost 1
N.Y. Jets 4 12 0 .250 283 401 2-6 2-6 1-5 .167 4-8 .333 0-4 Won 1

2015 Buffalo Bills Offense:

Have the Bills solved their offensive woes after ranking 26th in total offense last year? They added pro-bowl RB LeSean McCoy to take over for mediocre CJ Spiller and aging, yet productive Fred Jackson and WR Percy Jackson to compliment Sammy Watkins. They failed to address their biggest problem and that's at QB where Kyle Orton retired. He hands off the 18th ranked passing offense to either Matt Cassel (425 yards, 3 TDs & 4 in 2014), who comes from the Minnesota Vikings after a year sidelined by an injury, EJ Manuel (838 yards, 5 TDs & 3 INTs in 2014), who has been a bust during his first two season in the league. Rumors are that either one or both QBs will be cut.

"It couldn't be further from the truth," Bills Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. "I think it's too early to say there is a leader at QB right now," Roman added.

The truth is whoever is quarterbacking for the Bills won't be the major piece in the offense, in fact Ryan may just want a game manager like Kyle Orton to QB the game. The Bills will miss Orton's ability to take the yards that are given to him and limit turnovers. This teams offense will be run primarily through newly added RB LeSean McCoy (312 att, 1319 yards, 5 TDs). The Bills also have great weapons in wideouts Sammy Watkins (65 rec, 982 yards, 6 TDs), Robert Woods (65 rec, 699 yards, 5 TDs) and Percy Harvin. The team also opened up the purse strings for the tune of $38 million for 5 years to TE Charles Clay (58 rec, 605 yards, 3 TDs with the Miami Dolphins) and is expecting a big return.

  • Key Additions: RB LeSean McCoy, WR Percy Harvin, TE Charles Clay, FB Jerome Felton, QB Tyrod Taylor.
  • Key Departures: QB Kyle Orton, TE Scott Chandler, G Erik Pears, TE Lee Smith, RB CJ Spiller

Projected Buffalo Bills 2015 Offensive Starters:

  • QB EJ Manuel/ Matt Cassel
  • WR Sammy Watkins
  • WR Robert Woods
  • TE Charles Clay
  • RB LeSean McCoy
  • FB Jerome Felton
  • LT Cordy Glenn
  • LG Chris Williams
  • C Eric Wood
  • RG Richie Incognito
  • RT Seantrel Henderson

2015 Buffalo Bills Defense:

The biggest improvement the Bills front office did to improve the Bills defense from last year was the hiring of Rex Ryan as HC. Ryan is known for making mediocre defenses great and great defenses incredible. Last year the Bills' defense ranked 3rd best against the pass and 11th best stopping the run combining for 4th best overall in the league. Their pass rush was the league's best with a combined 54.0 sacks on the year, five more than the second place Philadelphia Eagles.

Buffalo picked only two defensive players in the 2015 NFL Draft, knowing they already have the best defense in the AFC East.

  • Key Additions: None
  • Key Departures: LB Brandon Spikes, Da'Norris Searcy

Projected 2015 Bills Defensive Starters (Base 3-4 D):

  • DE Marcell Dareus
  • NT Stefan Charles
  • DE Kyle Williams
  • OLB Jerry Hughes
  • OLB Mario Williams
  • ILB Preston Brown
  • ILB Nigel Bradham
  • CB Stephon Gilmore
  • CB Leodis McKlevin
  • SS Duke Williams
  • FS Aaron Williams

Buffalo Bills 2015 Draft Class:

  • Round 2, Pick 50: CB Ronald Darby, Florida State (43 tackle, 0 INT)
  • Round 3, Pick 81: G John Miller, Louisville
  • Round 5, Pick 155: RB Karlos Williams, Florida State (150 att, 689 yards, 11 TDs)
  • Round 6, Pick 188: OLB Tony Steward, Clemson (58 tackle, 3.5 sacks)
  • Round 6, Pick 194: TE Nick O'Leary, Florida State (48 rec, 618 yards, 6 TDs)
  • Round 7, Pick 234: WR Dez Lewis, Central Arkansas

Buffalo Bills 2015 Schedule and Point Spreads:

  • Week 1 Sun, Sep 13 (BUF +1.5) vs Indianapolis 1:00 PM | CBS
  • Week 2 Sun, Sep 20 (BUF +1) vs New England 1:00 PM | CBS
  • Week 3 Sun, Sep 27 (BUF +2) @ Miami 4:25 PM | CBS
  • Week 4 Sun, Oct 4 (BUF -3) vs New York Giants 1:00 PM | FOX
  • Week 5 Sun, Oct 11 (BUF +3) @Tennessee 1:00 PM | CBS
  • Week 6 Sun, Oct 18 (BUF -1) vs Cincinnati 1:00 PM | CBS
  • Week 7 Sun, Oct 25 (BUF -6) @ Jacksonville 9:30 AM
  • Week 8 BYE WEEK
  • Week 9 Sun, Nov 8 (BUF -2) vs Miami 1:00 PM | CBS
  • Week 10 Thu, Nov 12 (BUF -1) @ New York Jets 8:25 PM | NFL
  • Week 11 Mon, Nov 23 (BUF +5.5) @ New England 8:30 PM | ESPN
  • Week 12 Sun, Nov 29 (BUF +2.5) @ Kansas City 1:00 PM | CBS
  • Week 13 Sun, Dec 6 (BUF -3) vs Houston 1:00 PM | CBS
  • Week 14 Sun, Dec 13 (BUF +3.5) @ Philadelphia 1:00 PM | CBS
  • Week 15 Sun, Dec 20 (BUF -1) @ Washington 1:00 PM | CBS
  • Week 16 Sun, Dec 27 (BUF -1) vs Dallas 1:00 PM | FOX
  • Week 17 Sun, Jan 3 vs New York 1:00 PM | CBS

It will be a huge disappointment for the Bills if they don't make the postseason in 2015, especially with the amount of talent they have on defense. If New England and Miami take each other out and the Bills run into a bit of luck they could take the division. However, head coach Rex Ryan is in the same situation that got him fired from the NY Jets; great defense with a mediocre quarterback running the show.

Buffalo Bills NFL Futures Betting Predictions: Will lose on Wildcard Weekend out of the AFC

Connect With The Buffalo Bills:

Sources:

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/buf/2015.htm
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/buf/stats/
http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/buf/buffalo-bills
http://www.nfl.com/teams/profile?team=BUF