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Rex, Tyrod, Shady Make It A Whole New Ballgame

Filed under: Buffalo Bills, Sports

Admit it. You have no idea what to expect from the Buffalo Bills when they open the 2015 season  (and the Rex Ryan Era) against Indianapolis this afternoon, and neither do I.

Tyrod Taylor could be a revelation at quarterback, throwing over and running through a traditionally shaky Colts defense. Or he could be overwhelmed by facing a defense that’s really trying, and has spent time planning to counter his strengths and attack his weaknesses, for the first time as a professional.
 
LeSean McCoy could be recovered from the hamstring injury that sidelined him most of the summer and start proving himself well worth what he cost the Bills (Kiko Alonso and a massive contract), looking like the NFL-leading runner he was two years ago. Or he could spend the afternoon demonstrating that last year’s drop off of 1.4 yards per carry for the Eagles was not an accident, and that Buffalo got completely fleeced in the deal. Or he could tweak that hammy and limp off after a carry or two.
 
Sammy Watkins was at least the third-best rookie receiver last year, and that was withlargely dismal quarterbacks throwing the ball in his general direction. If the Taylor thing works out, he could be unstoppable. If not, he could be running around all day waving a hand and yelling, “Hey! I’m open!”
 
Buffalo’s new starting guards, rookie John Miller and often-less-than-ideal-teammate Richie Incognito, could lead a revitalized offensive line that blasts holes in the Colts’ defense for McCoy, while providing Taylor with an ample comfort zone. Or the unit could produce a mixture of whiffs and flags that causes suspended offensive line coach Aaron Kromer to pace around his living room until he has to go looking for a kid to punch.

You would think the one lock would be the debut of the full package of Ryan’s acclaimed defensive schemes as executed by one of the league’s most talented units. But doing anything for the first time can get a little sloppy, especially with a rookie starting at cornerback, a Pro Bowl tackle sitting out a one-game suspension and the AFC’s best young quarterback ready to spot and exploit any breakdowns. So Andrew Luck could look likePeyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers did against Buffalo last season, or he could look like he did against just about everyone.

Even Dan Carpenter, Buffalo’s most reliable scoring threat over the last couple years, could be a missed field goal away from unemployment after an uncharacteristically shaky summer.

Starting a season with a new coach, new quarterback and new primary running back all at the same time since John Rauch, James Harris and O.J. Simpson in 1969 makes you think that, whatever else happens at Ralph Wilson Stadium this afternoon, they couldn’t look like the same old Bills that have been the only NFL team to somehow keep themselves out of the playoffs for the last decade and a half.

But as you know if you’ve watched this team for any length of time, that could happen, too.


  • Ridgewaycynic2013

    An enjoyable article. Thank you, Dave. It again runs circles around a lot of the dross written on the subject at the Buffalo News.