Feeling Drafty #3: Buffalo Bills

March 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm (Sports) (, , , , , , , , )

The Harvard-grad, Ryan Fitzpatrick kept Buffalo competitive and had a breakout year, enough to earn Buffalo Team MVP honors.

When a team’s performance is undermined by the team’s record, that could potentially be a positive down the road.  That means most of the pieces are there, the team just needs to stop blowing games (see last year’s Chiefs).  The Buffalo Bills have a fairly potent offense that can win games, they just need some playmakers on the defense to make themselves a contender in the AFC East.

The Bills had a knack this season of taking great teams to the limit.  They lost by eight to New England, three to Baltimore, three to Kansas City, three to Chicago, and three to Pittsburgh.  And not many teams were able to put up the 49 points that Buffalo racked up against Cincinnati.

Their offense is pretty good.  Ryan Fitzpatrick had a nice season, especially when you consider his last five seasons with St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Buffalo.  He established career highs in games started (13), completions (255), attempts (441), passing yards (3,000), passing TDs (23), and passer rating (81.8).  Fred Jackson backed up his 2009 breakout season with a respectable 927 yards, while putting up career highs in TDs, and 20+ yard runs.  Stevie Johnson had a breakout season of his own, going for 82 receptions, 1,073 receiving yards, and 10 TDs.  And going for 1,000 receiving yards in Buffalo isn’t an easy task; it’s only been done three times since 2003.

It's sort of odd that the team's MVP is the same position as their projected first round pick, but that's the case with Cam Newton.

But, unfortunately, Fitzpatrick may not have done enough to keep his job intact.  With the NFL’s “win now” philosophy and the fact that Buffalo hasn’t had a big star that could attract people to Ralph Wilson Stadium since Thurman Thomas.  The Bills will probably pick up Auburn QB Cam Newton.  Let’s recap this guy’s last season at Auburn.  6’6″, 250 lbs., 4.42 in the 40 yard dash, 2,854 passing yards, 30 touchdowns, seven picks, along with 1,473 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground, and one Heisman Trophy.  Absolutely crazy.

It’s not likely that Cam Newton will fall past this point, so about ten teams will leave the first round disappointed (most notably Cincy, who is right after Buffalo, and Minnesota, who need a replacement to Brett Favre).  If Cam Newton can be the same guy he was at Auburn, we could be looking at one of the most exciting players in NFL history.  Personally, I think that Cam will either get hurt or limit the exciting runs like all dual-threat college quarterbacks do when they enter the NFL, but, hey, that’s just me thinking.

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