Buffalo Bills: 2016 Preview, Offseason Recap, Status Report, Schedule, Outlook
Buffalo Bills 2016 Preview
July 19, 2016
Super Bowl Odds: +4600 See the Latest Odds
After a frustrating 8-8 season, the Buffalo Bills hope for a more consistent year under coach Rex Ryan. The Bills have not made the playoffs since 1999 and are tired of being an afterthought in the improved AFC East.
Could this be the year?
USA TODAY Sports
Here is your 2016 Buffalo Bills preview.
Key Player Losses: The Bills watched underrated wide receiver Chris Hogan leave for the Patriots after three seasons in Buffalo in which he produced 87 receptions and six touchdowns. Linebacker Nigel Bradham and cornerback Leodis McKelvin reunite with the Philadelphia Eagles, while aging defensive end Mario Williams finds himself in Miami with the Dolphins. Overall, the Bills didn’t lose much but could miss the pass rushing of Williams considering he had double-digit sacks in three of his four seasons in Buffalo.
Key Player Additions: Rex Ryan usually likes to keep his teams the same unless a move is too big to pass up. Offensively, the Bills added depth at wide receiver with Leonard Hankerson coming over from Atlanta. With four seasons under his belt, Hankerson has 107 receptions and nine touchdowns. Defensively, the Bills added a couple of backups in linebacker Zach Brown and safety Robert Blanton. Those guys have been key contributors on other teams in the tackle department and should fit in well with the defensive minded Buffalo Bills.
Draft: While Shaq Lawson is recovering from injury and could miss a chunk of the season, he’s going to be a productive defensive end for a long time and has the perfect coach to get the most out of his skillset. Reggie Ragland is your traditional smart inside linebacker who was the brains behind Alabama’s defensive success. Adolphus Washington is one of those guys who will have a better pro career than he did in college, and quarterback Cardale Jones is a project the Bills can afford to mold with Tyrod Taylor showing enough promise his first year as a full-time starter. I also like the physicality that Jonathan Williams brings at running back.
Outlook: The Bills are just like every team in the AFC East in that there’s a lot of good but also some question marks that make you hesitate before pulling the trigger. We know the Bills are going to be good defensively, and with LeSean McCoy, Sammy Watkins and others, this should be an explosive offense. However, Rex Ryan coached teams have failed to meet expectations in the past and the Bills did lead the league last season with an average of 78.1 penalty yards per game. The talent is there to be in the thick of the playoff race, but nobody would be shocked if another 7-9 or 8-8 season happens.
Buffalo Bills 2016 Schedule:
|1||Sunday, Sep. 11, 2016||1:00 p.m. ET||at Baltimore Ravens||M&T Bank Stadium||CBS|
|2||Thursday, Sep. 15, 2016||8:25 p.m. ET||NEW YORK JETS||Ralph Wilson Stadium||CBS|
|3||Sunday, Sep. 25, 2016||1:00 p.m. ET||ARIZONA CARDINALS||Ralph Wilson Stadium||FOX|
|4||Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016||1:00 p.m. ET||at New England Patriots||Gillette Stadium||CBS|
|5||Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016||4:25 p.m. ET||at Los Angeles Rams||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum||CBS|
|6||Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016||1:00 p.m. ET||SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS||Ralph Wilson Stadium||FOX|
|7||Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016||1:00 p.m. ET||at Miami Dolphins||Sun Life Stadium||CBS|
|8||Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016||1:00 p.m. ET||NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS||Ralph Wilson Stadium||CBS|
|9||Monday, Nov. 7, 2016||8:30 p.m. ET||at Seattle Seahawks||CenturyLink Field||ESPN|
|10||Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016||BYE WEEK|
|11||Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016||1:00 p.m. ET||at Cincinnati Bengals||Paul Brown Stadium||FOX|
|12||Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016||1:00 p.m. ET||JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS||Ralph Wilson Stadium||CBS|
|13||Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016||4:05 p.m. ET||at Oakland Raiders||O.co Coliseum||CBS|
|14||Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016||1:00 p.m. ET||PITTSBURGH STEELERS||Ralph Wilson Stadium||CBS|
|15||Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016||1:00 p.m. ET||CLEVELAND BROWNS||Ralph Wilson Stadium||CBS|
|16||Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016||1:00 p.m. ET||MIAMI DOLPHINS||Ralph Wilson Stadium||CBS|
|17||Sunday, Jan. 1, 2016||1:00 p.m. ET||at New York Jets||MetLife Stadium||CBS|