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NFL Sneak Peak – The Buffalo Bills

NFL Football Futures Betting – 2009 NFL PreSeason Analysis – Bills Football Gambling

The Bills started quickly last season, winning their first four games, but for the most part the offense fell apart later in the season. Buffalo went through a stretch where it lost seven of eight games, and once again finished out of the money, with its third straight 7-9 season.

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This is a team that did not win one game within its own division, and there’s no way they are going to challenge for a division title, or a wild card spot for that matter, unless that gets changed.

Let’s take a look at the BetUS Sportsbook NFL odds to win the AFC East in the 2009 season, so we can see where the Bills stand:

Let’s take a look at the numbers:

Odds To Win AFC East

New England Patriots -450
New York Jets +700
Miami Dolphins +800

There were several priorities in this off-season, not the least of which was making the passing game a little more threatening. Lee Evans is a tremendous wide receiver, but all too often he didn’t get a chance to show what he could do because of the lack of a strong presence on the other side. That need was addressed with the acquisition of Terrell Owens, who was cut loose from the Cowboys. He’ll deflect some attention away from Evans, for sure, and things will get even better if they can get something out of last year’s #2 pick, James Hardy. Buffalo needs guys who can find the end zone; that was the idea behind Hardy and that is something Owens is known for.

The running back position is deeper with the arrival of Dominic Rhodes. Now Buffalo can have a running back-by-committee approach and take some of the burden off Marshawn Lynch, who’s had off-the-field problems that have resulted in a three-game suspension to start the season. Trent Edwards is a quarterback who I think has tremendous upside. He’s smart and tough-minded, and he is more of a leader than his predecessor, J.P. Losman (a free agent who still hasn’t been signed, by the way). Edwards was almost 66% accurate last season, and he will unquestionably be helped with more outlets; not just Owens and Rhodes coming out of the backfield, but also fourth-round draft pick Shawn Nelson, who could see a significant amount of playing time at tight end. The challenge is going to be protecting Edwards, especially if someone does not step in strong in place of Jason Peters, who was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles.

There is an opportunity for improvement on defense, and that is especially true if Marcus Stroud has another healthy season. Stroud was a very useful pickup from Jacksonville and he helped Buffalo become a better team against the run. The Bills were 14th overall on the defensive side, but they lacked a strong pass rush, getting to the quarterback only 23 times. They are hoping that defensive end Aaron Schobel, who was limited to five games last year, will be able to have a healthier season, and he’ll get lots of help from first-round draft choice Aaron Maybin out of Penn State. Leodis McKelvin, last year’s first-rounder out of Troy, should develop more in his second season, although he and the other corner, Terrence McGee, may miss the remainder of mini-camp. A second-round draft pick was spent on Jairus Byrd, a cornerback out of Oregon.

Special teams is always going to be a Bills’ strength, as long as they are under the watchful eye of Bobby April, one of those assistants who should get consideration for a head coaching job but just doesn’t seem to be one of those “fashionable” names. The Bills had an average drive start at the 32.4-yard line, which was the best in the NFL betting. McKelvin and McGee are great return men, as is Roscoe Parrish on punts. The kicking-punting combo of Rian Lindell and Brian Moorman may be the league’s best.

There are actually a lot of positives to look at in Buffalo, and Dick Jauron is a good football man. It’s a sign of stability that this front office didn’t make a change following last season. With a couple of pieces to the puzzle hopefully filled, there might be a ray of light for the Bills in the AFC East division. The Jets may be going with a rookie quarterback. The Miami Dolphins will be playing a first-place schedule. There might just be a chance for buffalo to win nine games and finish second in the division, which puts them in a position to at least challenge for a wild card berth.

Check out all this years NFL predictions, news, features during the preseason – Click Here!

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