We are nearing that time again, training camp is underway and pre-season is just around the corner, every team is desperate to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Minnesota next February. Today I am going to predict how my team the Buffalo Bills will get on as we try to snap a seventeen year play-off drought, which by the way is older than me and legal to drive in America and the UK. So I will go game by game and give my thoughts on if it is a win or loss.
Before I begin once again, the team from upstate New York has had an off-season of transition, a new head coach in Sean McDermott who is much more down to Earth than Rex Ryan whose ego saw him go 15-16 in two seasons and a new General Manager in Brandon Beane. Who replaces Doug Whaley who is more hated in Buffalo than anyone who makes a joke about Superbowl XXV, just to say anyone who reads this and looks up what happened keep it to yourself. But here we go the 2017 Buffalo Bills season prediction.
Week 1: Vs New York Jets
The Sean McDermott era starts at home to the New York Jets and it will be a win, the Jets are having a tank year so that they can get the number one draft pick in 2018. They will therefore be bad and with a rousing home support behind the team at New Era Field and a new sense of optimism the season will get off to a comfortable 14-17 point victory.
Week 2: @Carolina Panthers
The first road game of the season will see Sean Mcdermott and Brandon Beane return to their old stomping ground, McDermott was the defensive co-ordinator at the Panthers for six seasons and the Panthers defence was one of the best in the league when McDermott was running the defence. Therefore McDermott and former assistant GM Brandon Beane should know everything about the Carolina Panthers, while the Panthers do not know everything about the Bills, therefore I think we might just sneak a victory.
Week 3: Vs Denver Broncos
The Bills return home for week three and face Superbowl 50 champions the Denver Broncos and the coach will be wanting some revenge as Denver beat Carolina in California two years ago. The Broncos were not the same last year after Peyton Manning retired and with a first time head coach at the helm they could be in transition, also Denver do not have the best of records at the windy New Era Field and the dream start will continue, a one score victory and Buffalo fans will be believing.
Week 4: @Atlanta Falcons
The first defeat of the season will come at the newly build Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Last years NFC champion’s who should really be world champions will teach Buffalo a lesson that will be remembered for the rest of this season and for the next couple of years. Despite the fact we are the king of comebacks in the National Football League, Atlanta will create a lead and it will see us coming back down to Earth with a thud.
Week 5: @Cincinnati Bengals
For the second straight year Buffalo are heading to Ohio to take on the one good team in the state, the Cincinnati Bengals, (sorry Cleveland Browns fans). Last year we snapped a three game losing streak to get home 16-12 against the Bengals and coming off a drubbing at Atlanta we will be looking to bounce back in what is the last game before our bye week and we will bounce back, once again we will recover after a demoralising defeat to beat the Bengals.
Week 7: Vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bills are back in Buffalo on October 22 for week 7 of the regular season and face an improving Tampa Bay team looking to snap their own play off drought. A difficult afternoon is expected but in October a team from Florida playing in Buffalo does not usually go well for the team from Florida. So the season will improve and we will get closer to confirming a .500 season.
Week 8: Vs Oakland Raiders
In what is likely to be Oakland’s penultimate season in Oakland before they relocate to Las Vegas they will be desperate to give the Oakland fans a perfect goodbye. Last year Oakland went 12-4 and was one of the best teams in the AFC and will be once again this year, also taking into account our bad record against the Raiders and it will be a first defeat at The Cap in 2017.
Week 9: @New York Jets
Haven’t I mentioned that the Jets will be bad next season, going into week 9 on the back of a painful loss to Oakland this is the perfect game to bounce back. A worthy trip to New Jersey will result in yet another comfortable victory against the Jets and the dream will be closer.
Week 10: Vs New Orleans Saints
Nobody really knows how the Saints will be come November, the team from Louisiana usually start well and will again but the same will happen around this time, the pressure will tell, although at 6-2 and no play-off berth in seventeen years the pressure will be on us as well especially in front of now expectant Bills fans. Sadly we will fall to a second straight loss at home as the Saints are better at handling the pressure come November.
Week 11: @Los Angeles Chargers
In week eleven we travel to the great city of LA to take on the recently relocated LA Chargers and say hello to former Offensive Co-Ordinator and interim head coach Anthony Lynn. The Chargers will have a season like the LA Rams in their first year in LA, it will be a disaster and a tank year to get a good draft pick to make the move to Los Angeles worth the hassle. A victory here and we will be even closer to making history.
Week 12: @Kansas City Chiefs
The toughest part of the season starts at Arrowhead Stadium, when we take on the Kansas City Chiefs, a team who come the end of the season are usually unstoppable and will be again this year, we will play them at the wrong part of the season and in the wrong state and our play-off hopes will take a hit especially when you see who we have in week thirteen.
Week 13: Vs New England Patriots
December starts at home to Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots, the five time and reigning Superbowl champions and if you believe what everyone is saying possibly 11-0 New England Patriots when they visit Buffalo. We will be coming off a loss to Kansas and two straight home losses, the pressure will be on as people will be asking at 7-4 is this the year and the pressure will once again tell. I wish week 12 and 13 was Jacksonville and Cleveland (again sorry Jaguars and Browns fans).
Week 14: Vs Indianapolis Colts
Week 14, December 10, three straight home losses, two straight losses, hanging on to a play-off place for the first time in seventeen years. All of those things will be going through the minds of the players, fans and coaches come this must win game against the Colts, but now it will hit the players, they will see the faces of the fans and how much it matters to them and remember they have the Colts in Buffalo, in December, the Colts will struggle, the players will see the faces of the fans and get to .500 with three games to go, it will be ours to lose.
Week 15: Vs Miami Dolphins
As I said earlier on, teams from Florida struggle in Buffalo in the colder months and no team struggles more than the Miami Dolphins, last year’s defeat was bad coaching, honestly who punts in overtime? This year at 8-5 with a winning season and a place in the top six of the AFC up for grabs against our biggest rivals, in our final home game of the season, the fans will get the perfect send off and possibly a message saying see you in January.
Week 16: @New England Patriots
The penultimate game of the season sees us go to Foxborough, to take on the New England Patriots, who at this point will have won the AFC East and have Miami fans wanting them to do them a favour, sadly the Pats will do them a favour, last year we beat New England 16-0 in Foxborough but they were without Tom Brady, this year they probably will not be without Brady and will be just one win away from an unbeaten regular season come Christmas Day. While we face an agonising week before New Years Eve.
Week 17: @Miami Dolphins
New Year’s Eve, last game of the regular season, the day of triumph or heartbreak, Miami or Buffalo, one of them will qualify for the play-offs and will be playing in Florida in week 17, everybody will be tipping the Dolphins to win and get into the play-offs but last year was bad coaching and we have been fond of going 2-0 against the Dolphins in the past and in a return to the make or break games of the 1990s, the Bills will have enough in the tank, especially after victory a fortnight ago in Buffalo, the fresh memories will haunt Miami and inspire Buffalo. The victory will be secured and Buffalo will have to see whether ten wins is enough but this season will show that we are either going to be there or one season away.