|Date & Time||Tuesday June 23, 2015, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
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The Buffalo Bills head into 2015 with a new head coach in Rex Ryan and a roster that has a lot of new faces. The optimism is real in Buffalo, as this team looks to make the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
Here’s how the Buffalo Bills shape up entering the 2015 season.
Key Player Losses: The Bills traded promising linebacker Kiko Alonso to Philadelphia. While missing last season due to an injury, Alonso had a great rookie season in 2013 with four interceptions and 87 tackles. The defense also lost safety Da'Norris Searcy and linebacker Brandon Spikes, who were two of their top six tacklers a year ago. Offensively, the Bills watched running back C.J. Spiller leave for New Orleans and tight end Scott Chandler bolt for New England. Both Spiller and Chandler were two of the Bills better offensive players last season.
Key Player Additions: The Bills picked up running back LeSean McCoy in their trade with the Eagles, a guy who has nearly 7,000 rushing yards and 44 touchdowns in his career. McCoy is an upgrade over Spiller and Fred Jackson, and he’ll give the Bills offense more spark. The Bills also added to their offense with additions of Percy Harvin and Charles Clay, two guys who are versatile playmakers and can stretch the field. Needless to say, the Bills offense should be a lot more consistent.
Draft: The Bills loaded up with Florida State players, as they drafted Ronald Darby, Karlos Williams and Nick O'Leary within the first six rounds. Darby is going to be a starting cornerback sooner than later, and Williams could be a steal in the fifth round. Linebacker Tony Steward has a chance to become a solid backup linebacker and could also develop into an even better special teams player.
2015 Outlook: The Buffalo Bills already had an elite defense, but they made enough moves on the offensive side for this to be a possible playoff team. Ryan is obviously serious about ending Buffalo’s playoff drought and the team is there to do just that. However, the Bills need to get something out of the quarterback position if this is really going to be the first time Buffalo makes the playoffs in over a decade. Whether it’s Matt Cassel or EJ Manuel, somebody has to step up and make plays. Quarterback play will decide if the Bills are truly ready for that next step.
Buffalo Bills 2015 Schedule:
Sept. 13 Indianapolis Colts, 1
Sept. 20 New England Patriots, 1
Sept. 27 at Miami Dolphins, 4:25
Oct. 4 New York Giants, 1
Oct. 11 at Tennessee Titans, 1
Oct. 18 Cincinnati Bengals, 1
Oct. 25 at Jacksonville Jaguars (London), 9:30 a.m.
Nov. 1 BYE
Nov. 8 Miami Dolphins, 1
Nov. 12 at New York Jets (Thu), 8:25
Nov. 23 at New England Patriots (Mon), 8:30
Nov. 29 at Kansas City Chiefs, 1
Dec. 6 Houston Texans, 1
Dec. 13 at Philadelphia Eagles, 1
Dec. 20 at Washington Redskins, 1
Dec. 27 Dallas Cowboys, 1
Jan. 3 New York Jets, 1