How many games will the Buffalo Bills win in 2016?
Back in April, I posted a game-by-game analysis of the Buffalo Bills’ 2016 season.
The verdict: I had the Bills finishing 9-7. Good enough to get into the playoffs? Perhaps. The AFC isn’t as strong this year, so that could be good enough to clinch the final playoff spot.
But a lot has changed for the Bills over the past four months. Injuries have mounted. A key player, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, will miss the first four games after he was suspended by the NFL.
Here is my new game-by-game preview of the Bills’ 2016 schedule:
Week 1 - Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens
Analysis: This is a tough game to predict. The Ravens are playing at home, so they have an obvious edge. But, like the Bills, they have some unknowns. How will their defense fare? Will Joe Flacco return to form after missing part of last season? The Bills could win this game. If they do, it will be because of Tyrod Taylor.
SCORE: Ravens 23, Bills 20
Week 2 - New York Jets at Buffalo Bills
Analysis: The Bills swept the Jets last season and have their first home game against their AFC East foe. I don’t see Rex Ryan letting this game slip by. The Bills should win this one.
SCORE: Bills 24, Jets 17
Week 3 - Arizona Cardinals at Buffalo Bills
Analysis: The Cardinals should win this game. They’re the better team. But anything can happen at New Era Field. We’ll see if the Bills step up their game in front of a home crowd.
SCORE: Cardinals 28, Bills 20
Week 4 - Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots
Analysis: I don’t care if Tom Brady isn’t at quarterback for this game. The Bills are playing in Foxboro. The Patriots are still a pretty good team without Brady. They will miss him, but they should win.
SCORE: Patriots 27, Bills 17
Week 5 - Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams
Analysis: It’s a West Coast trip for the Bills, but there are a lot of question marks for the Rams. They have some good weapons, but who’s the quarterback? Will Jared Goff be the starter by the time this game rolls around? That gives you an idea of where the Rams stand right now.
SCORE: Bills 23, Rams 10
Week 6 - San Francisco 49ers at Buffalo Bills
Analysis: The 49ers are expected to be one of the worst teams in the league this year. This is a home game for the Bills. They’ll win it.
SCORE: Bills 31, 49ers 7
Week 7 - Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins
Analysis: The Bills have dominated this matchup in the past few years. With a new coaching staff, I don’t think that will be the case this year, at least for this game. The Dolphins should get the win at home against the Bills.
SCORE: Dolphins 20, Bills 17
Week 8 - New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
Analysis: Tom Brady is back. How do you think this is going to go?
SCORE: Patriots 38, Bills 24
Week 9 - Buffalo Bills at Seattle Seahawks
Analysis: A Monday Night Football game at CenturyLink Field. How do you think this is going to go?
SCORE: Seahawks 24, Bills 10
Week 10 - BYE
Week 11 - Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals
Analysis: This is a tough matchup for the Bills. While Andy Dalton lost some weapons, he still has A.J. Green and two very good running backs. The defense is still solid. The Bengals should pick up the win.
SCORE: Bengals 21, Bills 17
Week 12 - Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills
Analysis: The Bills should’ve beaten the Jaguars in London last year. That game came back to bite them down the stretch. This is a chance at redemption. The Jaguars are getting better, but the Bills should win at home.
SCORE: Bills 28, Jaguars 13
Week 13 - Buffalo Bills at Oakland Raiders
Analysis: The Raiders are looking like a team that could sneak into the playoffs this year. The offense is getting better. The defense is led by Khalil Mack. Watch out for them this year, and watch out for them in this game.
SCORE: Raiders 20, Bills 14
Week 14 - Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills
Analysis: The Steelers are a team many believe can win the Super Bowl this year. Maybe the Bills will pull off the upset, but I don’t see it happening.
SCORE: Steelers 31, Bills 17
Week 15 - Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills
Analysis: This should be an easy win for the Bills. We’ll leave it at that.
SCORE: Bills 34, Browns 20
Week 16 - Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills
Analysis: An early Christmas present for the Bills. A late December game against one of their AFC East rivals. They’ll get the win over Miami.
SCORE: Bills 27, Dolphins 13
Week 17 - Buffalo Bills at New York Jets
Analysis: The Bills close out the 2016 season on New Year’s Day 2017 against the Jets. This game could be a meaningless contest for both teams. Take the Bills.
SCORE: Bills 21, Jets 20
FINAL 2016 RECORD: 7-9