The Buffalo Bills have the fifth toughest schedule out of every team in the league for 2017. For a team that is looking to end a 17-year playoff drought, they are at a major disadvantage. Buffalo went into a little rebuilding mode after the firing of Rex Ryan and have succeeded. With a new head coach and bringing in players that can make an impact, the Bills look stronger than last year, but they will need to compete.
By far one of the most difficult teams the Bills will play this year, the Falcons are looking to conquer any opponent that steps in their way. After losing to the Patriots in Super Bowl LI and blowing a 28-3 lead, I expect them to have anger and aggression going into the season. With a powerful scoring offense, the Bills defense will need to do more than just contain. They will need to shut down the Falcons, which is very hard to do.
A bigger disadvantage for Buffalo? They are playing in Atlanta. I think playing as the visitor is Atlanta is tough enough. The Falcons also improved their defense in the offseason with acquisitions like defensive tackle Dontari Poe. This game should be the first biggest test to see how the Bills will do.
Much like the Falcons, Tampa Bay looks like they should have a high scoring offense. With Jameis Winston improving each year, giving him weapons like DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard makes their passing game more dangerous. Let’s not forget, they also have a premier receiver in Mike Evans. Although the passing game looks strong, I think the Bills defense should handle the running game.
The good news is that the Bills have home-field advantage, so the rowdy Bills fans get to mess with Winston and cause him to make mistakes. I think the fans will need to help the Bills to win this game. Create distractions toward Tampa Bay and you could see them making the smallest mistakes that could cost them the game.
Buffalo will travel to Arrowhead stadium to take on Andy Reid and the Chiefs. This will be a good game, but a tough one for the Bills. The Chiefs have emerged as one of the top teams in the AFC, which puts more pressure on the Bills. If you want to see the Bills make a statement towards every other team, they need to defeat Kansas City as the visitors. It’s easier to beat a team on your own turf, but to beat a tough team on their field is more satisfying.
Whether Alex Smith or Patrick Mahomes is taking the snaps, the Buffalo defense needs to show up to play. Get inside the head of the quarterback and cause him to fail so that Tyrod Taylor and the offense can light up the scoreboard. This is a game to tune in to, but Buffalo needs to show up and play Bills football.
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