Bills face some stiff competition in 2015
The Buffalo Bills are coming off of the 2014-15 season which saw them post a 9-7 record, but miss the playoffs once again. Most Bills fans know that the playoff drought will end at some point, but 2015-16 will pose some challenges and that has them worried. Last year’s schedule was tough as well, with games against the NFC North and Denver Broncos, but the Bills fared pretty well. Last season saw them barely lose to the Denver Broncos, get beat by the Oakland Raiders and go 4-0 against the NFC North, which was a great showing against a division that plays hard-nosed football.
On that note, here are five games that will test all that the Buffalo Bills have to offer in 2015-16:
Week 1 — Indianapolis Colts
Quarterback Andrew Luck and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton welcome in ex-49ers running back Frank Gore and ex-Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson to what was already a potent offense. The problem for the Colts has been their defense, but they might be putting up astronomical offensive numbers this coming season that will make them just as tough to beat. Yes, this game is taking place at Ralph Wilson Stadium, but the Colts pose a formidable challenge for the Bills right out of the gate. Look for the Bills to pressure Luck with their vaunted pass rush and Top 5 defense, and hope that their secondary can make it a tough day for Luck and their excellent receivers.
Week 6 — Cincinnati Bengals
This matchup is the end of a six-game stretch that will test every aspect of the Bills as a team, but the Bengals tend to be a team that is highly inconsistent. The Bills biggest question mark coming into this season is whether or not their quarterback(s) will be able to effectively get their weapons the ball downfield, but the addition of RB LeSean McCoy is huge. The Bengals provide a test on defense through their leader Vontaze Burfict, but again, they tend to play with inconsistency. The one advantage that the Bills have in this game is that they will be playing the Bengals a week after their battle with the Seattle Seahawks in Cincinnati.
Week 11 — @ New England Patriots
This game is going to be a tough one for the Bills to win. Tom Brady will most likely not be playing versus Buffalo in their Week 2 matchup and you can expect him to want to hand the Bills a blowout loss in New England. The Patriots are going to be taking an “us-versus-them” mentality against every team that they face once Tom Brady comes off of his suspension, and that could force the Bills into a precarious situation. LeSean McCoy and the Bills secondary will be the keys to the outcome of this game, but it isn’t an impossible mission. The main issue will be the added motivation for Brady and the Patriots, which could lead to a blowout loss for Buffalo.
Week 14 — @ Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles present an interesting challenge for the Bills, but RB LeSean McCoy will be facing his former team (as will LB Kiko Alonso). McCoy will undoubtedly hype up the Bills’ locker room with a pre-game speech, and Buffalo should be able to answer the call. The reason why this game will be a challenge is because the Eagles don’t know who will be their starting quarterback for the 2015-16 season. It could be Sam Bradford (acquired via trade), Mark Sanchez or Tim Tebow, who has proven himself worthy of at least a look according to most of the Eagles’ coaching staff. The Eagles have also added ex-Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray, which could provide a hefty challenge for the Bills’ run defense if he is anywhere close as good as last season.
Week 16 — Dallas Cowboys
Squaring off against quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant is a challenge for most teams and the Bills are hoping for a monster snow storm prior to this matchup on December 27 to help slow down the Cowboys’ offense. The question mark for Dallas will be if they can slow down RB LeSean McCoy (a recurring theme for opponents) because the quarterback play is a toss-up at this point for Buffalo. The Bills biggest question mark will be if they can slow down the Cowboys’ offense while keeping the Dallas defense on its toes. Look for this to be an important game for both teams at this juncture of the season, as it could result in which team makes the playoffs.
Are there other challenges that you think will be more difficult for the Buffalo Bills? Will they miss the playoffs once again? Let us know in the comments section below.
Dustin Brown covers the Buffalo Bills and NFL for MFST, and you can follow him on Twitter @SprtsWritingMan.