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Thread: First thoughts about 2012 opponents:

  1. #1
       
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    First thoughts about 2012 opponents:

    All based on NOT having twenty guys, including best offensive and defensive players, on IR this year.

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    New York Jets: I hate the Jets. Buffalo wins by two touchdowns, since New York looks to be moving on without Jim Leonhard, and Sanchez might cry.

    Kansas City Chiefs: Buffalo won last year, after a closer first half than the final score might have suggested. I don't think Kansas City has gotten all that much better so far. I predict Buffalo victory.

    Jacksonville: I guarantee Gabbert will be showered with nail polish. And blitzes. Maurice Jones-Drew and a good defense are not going to be enough. Buffalo win.

    Tennessee: A tough opponent, and the best chance of a visiting non-Divisional opponent to win. I predict Buffalo wins a close one.

    Seattle: Getting tougher, but I don't think Flynn will make all that much difference. Home advantage wins this one.

    St. Louis: They are going to be better than they were last year. I don't think they will be particularly good. This is the year my prediction that Steve Jackson will break down comes to pass.

    Miami: I think Buffalo will sweep the Dolphins in this overhauling year. I also think Philbin will be little better than Rich Kotite.

    New England: A split is realistic, as Buffalo is improving more than New England is, effectively closing the competitive gap. Their defense is still suspect when you go four wide. Whether it's the home or the away team winning I cannot say, though I lean to the visitor. Patriots win.

    AWAY

    Cleveland: I want Colt McCoy to do very well, except here. I also think he has little chance to do so. Cleveland is not good.

    Houston: Toughest road game this year. Wade makes a huge difference in Houston. Texans win.

    Indianapolis: Might be worse this year than last. Buffalo wins.

    Arizona: With Kolb at QB, Buffalo wins in a walk. With Skelton, they win a close game.

    San Francisco: Tied with Houston for toughest road game. Buffalo wins, because they are better.

    Miami: Aforementioned sweep.

    New England: Buffalo wins by ten.

    NY Jets: I hate the Jets. Buffalo sweep.

    By my reckoning, at first blush, Buffalo has an easier schedule than they've enjoyed in years and will take advantage of it, barring injuries to their best players for a second year in a row.

    OK , I have Buffalo going 14-2.

    Realistically, I think it'll be 11-5. Someone will get hurt, and it will cost a game or two. The Brad Smith Experience will be used on at least one occasion to effectively disrupt the rhythm of Buffalo's offense, costing a close one. Things go wrong for everybody. But I am confident in 11-5.
    Last edited by ScottDCP; 04-05-2012 at 03:48 PM.

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    I hope you're right. The injury thing just ruins seasons, year after year. I understand why coaches downplay it -- you're helpless and you must not succumb mentally. But it's one of the best barometers of success, IMHO.

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    Scott,

    If Fitz was truly hampered by sore ribs last year, with their great off-season, I think your analysis is good. I took a small ticket on them in Vegas at 50:1 to win the Super Bowl but, more interestingly, a slightly larger offshore (still tiny) stab at 133:1 that, while it probably won't come in, does seem like better odds than this improved team deserves. Third year of a coach, signed most important free agents (your own guys, according to Marv) and landed the whale. Talking Proud this year, baby!

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    I think 11-5 is the absolute max that Buffalo can get. I don't see them winning in either Houston or San Fran and I have them going no better than 3-3 within the division given that they went 1-5 last year. New England owns them with the exception of a fluke game last year where Brady threw 4 INTs and Buffalo still only managed to win by 3 so I have NE sweeping. I'll give them 3-1 against the Jets/Dolphins since both franchises don't seem to know what they are doing. I'm not at all sold on Fitzpatrick or Chan Gailey. I think Buffalo will range from 7 to 9 wins realistically with 11 wins being the best case scenario.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RSConn5 View Post
    I think 11-5 is the absolute max that Buffalo can get. I don't see them winning in either Houston or San Fran and I have them going no better than 3-3 within the division given that they went 1-5 last year. New England owns them with the exception of a fluke game last year where Brady threw 4 INTs and Buffalo still only managed to win by 3 so I have NE sweeping. I'll give them 3-1 against the Jets/Dolphins since both franchises don't seem to know what they are doing. I'm not at all sold on Fitzpatrick or Chan Gailey. I think Buffalo will range from 7 to 9 wins realistically with 11 wins being the best case scenario.
    I concur, 7 to 9 wins seems likely. 11 wins is the absolute ceiling. Like far absolute, considering gailey has never coached an 11 win NFL team before. Considering that team had the "triplets" in Dallas, its likely that team had better talent.

    The easy schedule points towards a possible 9 wins though. I understand injuries play a part in outcomes of games, but going 1-8 in the stretch points to no quality depth. Pittsburgh got hit hard with the injury bug, but we have quality depth. Buffalo got better in top line talent. We will have to wait and see if they get and develop quality depth based on the draft and late free agency period. However depth is also an issue with the jets, so that may net them 2 easy wins if one of their cornerstones goes down, or it could go the other way..

    It takes a very good, and well coached team to win 11 games, unless you play both west divisions in the same year I don't see that from buffalo. Buffalo has neither trait. One winning season at 9-7 in 12 years and a coach who has about as many in the same time frame? Doesn't make me so confident they can win 11 games, certainly not 14. That's crazy speak!
    Last edited by mikesteelnation1; 04-17-2012 at 01:15 AM.
    "If I could start my life all over again, I would be a professional football player, and you damn well better believe I would be a Pittsburgh Steeler." Jack Lambert, 1990 HoF Introduction.

  6. #6
    Scott goes nuclear and invokes the dreaded Kotite comparison.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Freeland View Post
    Scott goes nuclear and invokes the dreaded Kotite comparison.
    Kinda squeezing so hard everything he wants to hold onto is slipping through his fingers, no? Of course a lot of it may be due to the owner and/or GM, but Philbin will get more heat for what looks to be a terrible year coming up.Miami as some built-in attractions for free agents, from climate to lack of state income tax to the tendency of a lot of pretty girls to live in bikinis. How many top guys are signing there? Artis Hicks and Tyrell Johnson?
    Last edited by ScottDCP; 04-17-2012 at 09:09 AM.

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    OK, as I wrote that word leaked that Miami landed Legedu Naanee. I apologize. I was wrong.

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    Much of the dissent is based on hazy arguments. Predict 8 losses, OK, but to whom? Named possibilities are New England, Houston, San Francisco, and probably one to the Jets. Who else? Cleveland, KC, Indy, St Louis, Arizona, Seattle, Tennessee, and the Jacksonville Gabberts. Where do you see three or four losses? Can you make an argument for anything beyond the Titans and Seahawks? (I think the Gabberts would have the best shot, were they to, you know, not play Gabbert, but that seems unlikely.) Those are far from guarantees, but the best candidates as I see it. And that's guaranteeing 1-5 against the first four mentioned teams, which I think is going to turn out to have been wrong. I am thinking more like 4-2, 3-3 at worst. I really expect a split with Houston and SF, as well as NE, and a sweep of the Jets and Dolphins, and no more than two losses against the rest of them.

    Am I wrong about the southward turn I expect out of the Dolphins and Jets? I doubt it. What has anyone seen to make them think otherwise? Has Buffalo improved more than those teams in the last two years? Definitely. They may both improve through the draft, but who's to say Buffalo won't?

    Gailey's prior years have little bearing on this one. The Dallas team he inherited wasn't as bad as the Buffalo team he inherited, but it was on the downside. Pretty much everybody involved with running that team, which really means Jerry Jones and Troy Aikman, has gone on record as saying that and surmising that they did well to make the playoffs. I agree with them and trust Aikman to be honest and knowledgeable about it. And three years ago, Buffalo was awful. Or should I say their QB was Trent Edwards, taking over from JP Losman. Oh and I think Wannstedt is actually a pretty good DC, and may turn out to be an improvement over George Edwards.

    Quality depth? Fair assessment last year. After the first 17 guys went on IR, things went downhill fast (I will address this again in a more specific way in a couple sentences.) On the DL, this year's DE depth is last year's starting unit. Not all bad. Of course I am going to be optimistic about the potential of Williams to make life easier for the rest. My thinking that they overpaid for Anderson is a separate issue. He can still succeed against half the tackles in the game, one on one, a half dozen times a game. Hurries are as good as sacks in my world, since a hurry will more often lead to an interception than a sack will. Remember, we face Gabbert, Cassell, rookie Luck, Jackson/FLynn, Kolb/Skelton, Garrard/Moore/rookie Tannehill, Melissa Sanchez/Tebow, and McCoy. Either young or average to below average passers - two categories that make interception numbers go up.

    The LT situation is no better this year than last, but not too much worse. Bell was OK, but guaranteed not to last the season, just as he is not going to last this year. I hope an improvement is found, to be sure.

    That doesn't concern me short-term as much as making sure Fred Jackson is the primary running back, and that nobody jumps on his leg again this year. 1-8 happened right around the time he and Williams were hurt. It was not a coincidence. (I think Spiller is OK at RB - though not the heart and soul leader that Freddie is - but I would very much like for Buffalo to come away from this year's draft with a starting LT [Reiff or Martin, likely], a Vinny Curry or Shea McLellin, and an Alameda Ta'amu or Jerel Worthy, off the top of my head. Not that I am predicting the order they will go or anything.)

    unless you play both west divisions in the same year
    We should be so lucky. But really, I think we got as lucky as anyone could get.

    And Pittsburgh always gets to play Cleveland twice .

    If I thought Buffalo was stacked, I would be happy to predict 14-2. They are not stacked, but they are much improved. That's why I go 11-5. Strength of schedule matters. It isn't evrything or the only thing, but it is top 4, with talent, coaching, and oh yeah, top 3.

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    I think I was feeling an odd flush of optimism last year at this time as well... or was that with the Browns?

    No matter. Before the draft in 2011 I was screaming that if Nix drafted a first rounder who weighed less than 280, I'd go down to Orchard Park and burn down the Big Tree in protest. I love that bar, so it's a good thing Dareus was chosen.

    As much venom as I've spewed on Nix and Gailey, they seem to be doing things the right way. Give this team - give ANY team - a pass rush and good things will happen. Is this the year? Experience has taught me not to celebrate until the kick splits the uprights, so I'm not on board with a 14-2 season. And in all honesty, after last year's epic collapse, I won't start thinking playoffs until some time around Christmas. But just the thought of the new Bills D-Line makes me smile. The Pats will always hurt the Bills, but the Dolphins are the new Rams and the Jets have one of the worst potential QB controversies since Anderson-Quinn. Add another 280+pound guy, three wins against the NFC West, games against the Colts and Browns, and it SHOULD be a fine season.
    “I’ve always been a big fan of Norv Turner. I think he gets it. I think he does an outstanding job.” — Pat Shurmur

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