Sports Illustrated writer and regular Kissing Suzy Kolber feature, Peter King has picked the Bills as the 31st best team in the NFL this year.
As a betting man (for entertainment purposes only) I’m betting the Bills finish higher than the penultimate position in the yearly NFL sweepstakes.
Seven teams finished last year with a worse record than the Bills — Oakland, Kansas City, St. Louis, Cleveland, Washington, Tampa Bay and Seattle.
Of those teams, King picks only the St. Louis Rams to finish below the Bills this year. He’s counting on a massive impact from first-round draftee Ndamukong Suh to propel the Detroit Lions ahead of eight other teams and is also looking for Tampa Bay’s rookie class to propel them to a better record than the Bills.
The only one of last year’s bottom eight teams which can point to a substantial upgrade in talent and coaching is the Washington Redskins. The addition of Donovan McNabb and Mike Shanahan should be good for something.
Outside of Washington, you could argue the Bills are as much improved as anyone else with the addition of C.J. Spiller and a better than average coaching fit in Chan Gailey.
Joe Pinzone over at metrowny.com makes the following case for why Gailey could contribute to a couple of extra Bills wins this coming season:
. . we have all studied what Gailey did at his previous jobs. We know he helped make Kordell Stewart into a 1-year phenom. We know he made Jay Fiedler into a serviceable quarterback. Hell, Tyler Thigpen threw for 18 touchdowns in 2008. All of these quarterbacks were unknowns before Gailey got his hands on them. You’ve always heard members of the media mention that Gailey thinks he can turnaround any quarterback that he touches. The quarterbacks that I’ve mentioned haven’t been all-pros, but they have had their better years with Gailey.
He’s also been a coach whose been able to develop schemes that protect the quarterback. In Gailey’s years with the Dolphins, the offensive line only gave up 28 and 27 sacks each year. If you look at Miami’s offensive lineman during those years, none of the names are going to jump out at you. No high first round picks or all-pros.
If you’re a serial optimist (a requirement for Bills’ fans everywhere) you could say Buffalo’s NFL commemorative cup isn’t half empty, it’s half full . . . and just has a couple of holes in it.
Photo credit: Maxim.com and the Buffalo Bills
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Written by Mark Jabo