Originally posted this as a response to the "Will the Bills makle the Playoffs?" Thread/Poll started earlier, but considering the fact that 85% of responses said "YES", and that we already have a thread started since suggesting that the bills will win the AFC East I figured Id start my own thread for those of us who may prefer to be a little more realistic (deleted the response so the post isnt up twice on the board).
As a whole Bills fans are being a little biased here arent we? 85% saying yes to whether or not the bills will make the playoffs? Has a nice offseason really turned us into THAT fan base? I certainly Like our chances better than just about any other year in recent memory (post Bledsoe), but lets be realistic here.
Im very excited for this upcomming year and Im not trying to be negative as I love the direction, just feel that unfortunately the math does not add up.
The Bills are not beating out the Pats for the division (obviously anything can happen but realistically this isnt happening) which means your fighting for 1 of 2 Wild Card spots.
The AFC North was a 3 Playoff division a year ago and it seems difficult to imagine the Ravens or Steelers do not take 1 of these WC spots. You may not have to look outside of the North for the 2nd either as Cinci was a playoff team with a rookie QB and top WR, and did a nice job in the draft once again addressing needs and getting great value.
I hate The Jets about as much as any franchise in pro sports (probably 2nd to N.E.), and can see why some would suggest that they didnt have a GREAT offseason, but going into the season just assuming that we will be better than a team that has owned us in recent seasons is kind of ignorant. Being under the radar might be exactly what this team needs. And I hate Tebow as much as the next guy but its like we are all simply banking on the fact that some potential QB turmoil will hurt the team, and no one is considering the fact that he could either A.) be a great addition to the team, helping them punch in TD's in the redzone and running the wildcat with Sporano, or B.) actually be a better starting QB Than The Dirty Sanchez. Coples was a nice value pick at a spot of need, they got The WR everyone wanted the Bills to get in The 2nd, and I think people are dismissing the possibility that The Jets very well could end up being a better team this year than last. If I had to guess now Id have The Jets missing the playoffs, but you have to at least consider them a strong contender for what Im thinking will be the last playoff spot. Lets maybe try and beat these guys 1 time before we go assuming that we will be better than them.
The The West was a pretty bad division last year in terms of having any great teams, but all 4 teams were decent, and a nice step up away from being a playoff team. Denver has to be the favorite going in, and I am personally not banking on the Chargers having another poor year with all of that talent. Oakland and KC were both similarly mediocre to Buff last season, and both have reason to believe they could be improved and make that next step into the postseason (Charles, Berry back for full season in KC, nice addition of Hillis.....full season for Palmer with camp in Oakland, and a potentially healthy backfield at least entering the season). Now I dont think either KC or Oakland is necessarily better than Buffalo, just saying their fans are probably having similar discussions and think they have a shot to compete for that last spot. The Chargers I still would have to have ahead in the pecking order over The Bills. Dont see Rivers having that poor of a season again, and I think they are a legit contender for the last WC (assuming they dont beat Denver for the division).
The South is bad, and Houston should cruise. Jags and Indi probably will stink, but Id toss Tenn in a similar category as Oakland or KC, as a team with an outside shot. CJ with a full training camp, Britt back and healthy, 2nd yr QB with full camp getting reps with the 1s. dont count them out. They werent bad last year.
In Summary I think your going to see NE Pitt Denver and Houston claim division titles, and I think Bmore (or Pitt if Bmore takes the north) is a pretty likely WC squad.
That to me leaves 7 teams who at this way too early juncture who all have reason to think they could be that last team. If I had to rank them in order of most to least likely to take that last WildCard Id say 1.)San Diego, 2.)Cinci, 3.)Jets, 4.) Buffalo, 5.) KC, 6.) Tenn, 7.) Oakland
I think the Bills def have a shot but 85% saying yes(obv this could change over time Id like to think it will even out) is a little out of hand. Could 1 of the teams I suggested will win a division or take a WC spot slip up and not make it? Sure, but you can just as easily suggest bottom feeder squads like cleveland or Miami could surprise and come out of nowhere.