The Buffalo Bills Under Rex Ryan
Wayne Root: Buffalo's Outlook Under Rex Ryan
During the NFL Preseason, I wrote up notes for you on both the New York Jets and the New York Giants. You longtime readers know I follow the Big Apple teams very closely. I was born in Mt. Vernon, NY as a true S.O.B. (son of a butcher!). I had planned to also talk about the Buffalo Bills since former Jets coach Rex Ryan is now the head man. We finally have time to do that today as we gear up for the start of the NFL season this week.
Ryan is one of those coaches who's most likely to do well IMMEDIATELY because he's a "player's coach" who might be the answer if the prior coach had lost the team. Ryan comes in...gets everyone fired up again...and the team performs. Eventually, though, his weaknesses become a problem (particularly on offense), and he's the guy losing a team.
*Ideal Ryan Situation: He arrives to fix a bad defense for a team that was in the tank
*Worst Ryan Situation: He arrives to see a defense that's already great, the offense is horrible, and there weren't many internal troubles anyway
Frankly, I just don't see why Buffalo went after Ryan! I'm sure management had some issues with the prior coaching regime or it wouldn't have happened. But, Ryan doesn't "fix" what was broken. If anything, he might make things worse! He just announced this week that Tyrod Taylor won the battle for starting quarterback. Taylor hasn't played much since 2011 when he was at Virginia Tech...and he had big troubles finding the end zone vs. quality defenses when he was in college. He has the body and physical profile of an NFL quarterback without the production.
Will this be Geno Smith all over again? Ryan's team flailing with a quarterback who shouldn't be an NFL starter?
I'm skeptical, but ready to be convinced. I know Buffalo's great defense from last season will continue playing hard for Ryan. Maybe Taylor can avoid the kind of mistakes that E.J. Manuel was making last year in the same kind of role. If he can't...then this is a 6-10 team that just wasted a year with the wrong coach!
Let's see what the schedule looks like out of the gate...
Sunday: vs. Indianapolis (currently +2.5)
Week Two: vs. New England (will be a short home dog)
Week Three: at Miami (will be a short road dog)
Week Four: vs. NY Giants (will be a home favorite)
Brutal to have to open with the Colts and Patriots, who are two of the top favorites to win the AFC this season. But, those are both at home...and you can be sure that the stadium will be jam-packed and vocal for those huge games. If Buffalo can at least split, that sets the stage for a potential run at the playoffs.
*Playing Indianapolis signals that Buffalo faces the AFC South this season...which means winnable games against Tennessee and Jacksonville.
*Playing the NY Giants signals that Buffalo faces the NFC East this season...which means the struggling Redskins are also on the card.
*Of course, placement in the AFC East means two games with the Jets, and you know Ryan will go all out to win those.
On the other hand...if the Bills play to the spread...they're looking at a 1-3 start and the grumbling of local fans and media about the quarterback choice.
What a volatile season! If Taylor isn't ready...we're looking at 6-10 like I just mentioned. But, if Ryan and Taylor can play competitive ball in September...then this team that just missed the playoffs at 9-7 last year has a real shot at a Wildcard because of their relatively friendly schedule. Don't forget that Buffalo had a Seattle-style defense last year in terms of performance, while playing what graded out to be a tough schedule.
I'll be working closely with my New York area sources all season to make sure my clients get the best information for games involving the Jets, Giants, and Bills. That could pay off right away on an opening week schedule that also sees the Jets hosting the Browns and the Giants visiting the Cowboys in the Sunday Night TV opener.
You can always purchase my game day BEST BETS in all sports right here at the website with your credit card. The only man in the sports betting industry with a star on the "Walk of Fame" here in Las Vegas can also be reached by way of the office at 1-877-ROOT-WINS. Call during normal business hours Monday through Friday to talk to one of my representatives.
I'll be writing three articles per week through the football season. So, I'll see you again in a few days as we get ready for the first FULL weekend of both college and pro football on the regular season schedule. The waiting is over. It's time for you to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!
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