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NFL.com writer predicts nine wins for the Bills; here's why we agree

With training camps around the NFL approaching, the league's official website has started a series previewing each one of them.

The Buffalo Bills had their turn recently, with writer Conor Orr recapping their offseason and answering "three burning questions."

At the end, Orr offers his "way-t00-early season prediction."

It reads: "I've seen two very good Rex Ryan seasons first-hand, and a few not so good. I've learned to never count him out, especially when his back is against the wall. I count 10 winnable games on Buffalo's schedule this season, and I expect the Bills to take sole position of second place in the AFC East with a nine-win season."

That got us thinking about our season prediction for the Bills. To figure it out, let's go game by game through the 2016 season:

Week One: at Baltimore -- Loss.

Reasoning: The Ravens bottomed out last season, but that was largely due to injuries. Getting Joe Flacco back will be huge. It's tough to win on the road against a team hosting its home opener, especially one like Baltimore that will be eager to put 2015 behind it.

Week Two: New York Jets -- Win.

Reasoning: The Ralph should be bananas for a prime-time home opener, and if the Jets eventually do re-sign quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, Rex Ryan and Co. have had his number. If they don't, that means Geno Smith might start. That's a recipe for disaster in New York.

Week Three: Arizona Cardinals -- Loss.

Reasoning: The Cardinals got smoked by Carolina in the NFC Championship Game, but top to bottom have one of the best rosters in the NFL and in Bruce Arians, a coach seemingly every player would love to play for. They are Super Bowl contenders again.

Week Four: at New England Patriots -- Win.

Reasoning: The toughest game to pick on the Bills' schedule, largely because of the uncertainty over Tom Brady's status. If the New England quarterback is successful at having his suspension overturned or reduced, this game goes to the Patriots. For now, Brady would miss this game -- which is a huge break for the Bills.

Week Five: at Los Angeles Rams -- Win.

Reasoning: By now, the Bills' defense will have ideally found its rhythm. Facing a rookie quarterback should be an advantage for Buffalo. Cross-country trips are never easy, but this has the makings of an important game for the Bills when looking at the rest of October's schedule.

Week Six: San Francisco 49ers -- Win.

Reasoning: The 49ers have a new coach in Chip Kelly, meaning the Bills' defense will have to prepare for his up-tempo style. A loss in this game, however, would bring about crisis mode for the Bills, who have a vastly superior roster.

Week Seven: at Miami Dolphins -- Win.

Reasoning: Until proven otherwise, the Bills own Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Two of Buffalo's best performances last season came against the Dolphins, who made a coaching change to Adam Gase in the offseason. He's done well with quarterbacks and should help Tannehill, but not enough to beat the Bills in this one.

Week Eight: New England Patriots -- Loss.

Reasoning: Two words: Tom Brady.

Week Nine: at Seattle Seahawks -- Loss.

Reasoning: Monday night in Seattle could get ugly. The Seahawks have arguably the best home-field advantage in the NFL. The Bills head on their bye week after this one, so it's easy to see a scenario where they check out early if they fall behind.

Week 10: Bye.

Week 11: at Cincinnati Bengals -- Loss.

Reasoning: The loss of offensive coordinator Hue Jackson to Cleveland is a big one for the Bengals, but Cincinnati returns one of the best rosters in the AFC. The Bills were forced to play EJ Manuel last year against the Bengals, but were outclassed in that game.

Week 12: Jacksonville Jaguars -- Win.

Reasoning: The Jaguars are a team on the rise with quarterback Blake Bortles and some attractive young defensive players, but the Bills will be a desperate for a win if the schedule indeed plays out like this. The return of Doug Marrone to Orchard Park will be a fun sideshow leading up to the game.

Week 13: at Oakland Raiders -- Loss.

Reasoning: Two years ago, the Bills' playoff hopes died in Oakland. It's entirely possible they could take a big hit this year, as well. The Raiders have an emerging quarterback in Derek Carr and one of the best players in the NFL in Khalil Mack -- the pride of UB. Buffalo's third cross-country trip of the season proves to be one too many.

Week 14: Pittsburgh Steelers -- Loss.

Reasoning: The high-powered Steelers offense suffered through injuries last season, but when healthy, the trio of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, receiver Antonio Brown and running back LeVeon Bell is one of the best in the league. There will also be plenty of Terrible Towels in the crowd as Steelers fans travel better than perhaps any others.

Week 15: Cleveland Browns -- Win.

Reasoning: At this point, the "in the hunt" graphics will be all the rage. Obviously, the Bills' chances will be dependent on what other teams do, but a loss to the Browns would be a low point, and likely put an end to them. Cleveland's new analytics-based approach will be fascinating to watch, but the Bills are the more talented team heading into 2016.

Week 16: Miami Dolphins -- Win.

Reasoning: Christmas Eve with the Dolphins in town could be fun if the Bills are in the race. Miami visiting Buffalo in December is always going to be a lean toward the Bills.

Week 17: at New York Jets -- Win.

Reasoning: Rex Ryan is always going to be motivated to go back to New York. The Bills played two of their better games against the Jets last season, and again, New York's quarterback situation is unsettled.

Conclusion: 9-7.

A one-game improvement from 2015 might not be enough to sneak the Bills into the playoffs, but it would probably mean Rex Ryan returns for a third season.

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