What About Next Season?
February 9, 2013 Leave a comment
— adam poveromo (@AdamPov) February 9, 2013
As we talked a bit, I started to wonder what to really expect from the 2013 season. Is it going to be another disappointing season?
According to fbschedules.com, the Bills are going to host the AFC East, Ravens, Bengals, Falcons, Panthers, and Chiefs. They will visit their division opponents as well as the Browns, Steelers, Saints, Buccaneers, and Janguars. At first glance, it’s hard to disagree with Adam’s statement.
Ignoring divisional opponents, the home schedule (combined record of 42-38) looks a bit more difficult than the away schedule (combined record of 29-51). Three of the teams coming to the Ralph were in the 2012 playoffs, including one Super Bowl champion.
Based on their 2012 roster, I would expect the Bills to have a 6-10 record if they faced the 2013 schedule. That 6-10 record assumes the same outcomes for the divisional games (a 2-4 division record in 2012) as well as wins over Cleveland, Jacksonville, Kansas City, and Tampa Bay (a toss up for me, I had no idea who Tampa Bay was on a weekly basis in 2012). However, the team will be different, as I don’t expect Ryan Fitzpatrick to be the starter and linebacker issues are surely going to be addressed.
Schedule aside, four of the teams (49ers, Vikings, Redskins, and Texans) who made the playoffs this past season were 6-10 in the 2010 season. Adam’s response to that point was that those teams have Colin Kaepernick, Adrian Peterson, RGIII, and Matt Schaub. The Bills don’t have players of that caliber currently (or do they in CJ Spiller?). Furthermore, this draft class has been advertised as a weak quarterback class, the Bills’ primary need.
Colin Kaepernick was drafted in the second round of the 2011 draft and didn’t emerge until Week 9 of the 2012 season. Adrian Peterson was on the 2010 Vikings team that went 6-10 and has only been to the playoffs three times. RGIII was a great draft pick, but may not even be able to play for a good portion of next season. Finally, Matt Schaub, a third round draft pick himself, has only taken one team to the playoffs because he is constantly injured. Is an impact player, namely a quarterback, hidden somewhere for the Bills to find?
Sure, the Bills need serious upgrades at quarterback, wide receiver, and linebacker, but the draft and free agency can address some of those problems. Two of the three quarterbacks previously mentioned were drafted outside of the first round. Could the Bills find and draft a quality player who is overlooked like Kaepernick, Schaub, or even Russell Wilson? Is that guy even available this year?
Buffalo has good offensive weapons in CJ Spiller, Fred Jackson, and Stevie Johnson, and have strong potential on defense aside from linebacker issues. One could argue that they are a quarterback and a couple linebackers away from a playoff contending season. I’m hoping that’s the case.
Finally, I’m just not ready to write off the 2013 season before free agency has even begun. Maybe that’s the dumb fan in me speaking, but I think there will be more to the 2013 season than just a win-loss record. The new coaching staff will look to prove themselves and the new quarterback (whether he is a rookie draft pick or a veteran looking for another chance) will try to establish himself as the franchise guy. It could be the beginning of something exciting and great. Or it’ll be just another losing season in Buffalo with no football in January.
Either way, I’m watching and I hope you join me.