Bills top wide out Stevie Johnson had a performance to forget on...
BuffalOkie Mondays: Week-by-Week Predictions, Part II
Week 9: vs. Kansas City
The Chiefs made several improvements this offseason and have become a very trendy pick to go from awful to good in 2013. I see them being a tough out, but let’s not forget that this was a two-win squad a year ago. A new head coach and quarterback is a nice start, but I’m going to need to see more.
To be honest with you, I think this is an absolute toss-up game, but I’m going with the Bills simply because the game will be played at the Ralph and because of the major defensive lift CB Stephon Gilmore will provide in his return to the team. Good guys win 29-24 and improve to 5-4.
Week 10: at Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is an absolute question mark for me in 2013. No clear No. 1 running back, Big Ben seems to have lost some of his mojo, age continues to be a factor across the board, etc. Having said all of that, a cold November game against Dick LeBeau’s defense while 65,000 terrible towels twirl around you is not a very inviting atmosphere for a rookie quarterback. Steelers win 24-13 as the Bills drop back to .500 (5-5).
Week 11: vs. New York Jets
Interestingly enough, I’m giving the Jets a bit more credit by the time this game rolls around, only because MAYBE they’ll know who their quarterback is by now and MAYBE they’ll have something resembling offensive chemistry. I personally think it will be Geno Smith leading New York’s offense, in which case I will take our rookie QB in that matchup all day long. The game will be a bit sloppier than the first meeting between the two teams, but the result is the same. Bills win 33-21 and improve to 6-5.
Week 12: Bye
Week 13: vs. Atlanta
Remember last week when I talked about Drew Brees going up against our secondary indoors? Just take that scenario and add the depressing fact that this game is in Toronto, a place where NFL dreams go to die. Matt Ryan makes a bad day worse with a monster game as the Bills lose 41-14 and drop to 6-6.
Week 14: at Tampa Bay
There are two ways in which this game could play out, and it really depends on Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman. He could play well in his contract year and keep a sneaky-talented team in the playoff hunt, in which case the Bills will really be up against it in Tampa.
He could let the pressure of the contract year squash him, be more Hyde than Jekyll and drag his team to the bottom of an already tough NFC South. In this scenario, the Bills will be playing an uninspired team in week 14. Either scenario is possible, but I’m going with the former. Bills lose 28-20 and fall under .500 (6-7).
Week 15: at Jacksonville
In my initial schedule analysis back in June, I called this the game that the Bills absolutely cannot lose. I’m backing off that a bit, as the Jags actually have a couple of nice pieces, but this should still be a win for the Bills. Buffalo comes out on top 30-17 and move to 7-7 on the season.
Week 16: vs. Miami
Bills enter this game sitting at 7-7 with a realistic shot at finishing the season at .500. They’ve beaten the Dolphins once this season, and now they get them at home. Everything sets up well. Unfortunately, these are the Bills we’re talking about, and we all know what happens when things start to go right for our team. Tannehill connects with Mike Wallace for two deep touchdown passes and the wind is taken out of the Bills’ sails. Dolphins go on to win 24-10 as the Bills fall back to 7-8.
Week 17: at New England
The Patriots are still fighting for positioning in the AFC playoff picture and welcome a defeated Bills team to Foxboro to close out the regular season. The Bills stay close early, giving the Pats a little scare, but Tom Brady goes back to being Tom Brady and the Pats cruise in the second half, winning the game by a score of 38-21. Bills close out 2013 with a 7-9 record.