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Mark Gaughan's Rapid Reaction: Major issues at QB, major questions heading to offseason

Rapid reactions from the Bills’ victory over New England.

* The Bills posted their first winning season in 10 years, since 2004, with their 17-9 win at New England. That is legitimate progress. However . . .

* ... let’s not forget, they still rank 10th in the AFC this season.

* They still have a very hard-to-solve quarterback problem for next season. Maybe they could squeak into a wild-card spot with Kyle Orton at QB. But that’s if everything goes right. They could go after a veteran, such as Jay Cutler or Sam Bradford. But both of those guys are a hope and a prayer in terms of being a franchise quarterback.

* It would be nice if they could find a QB prospect in the second or third round of this year’s draft. Do they want General Manager Doug Whaley making the decision on who to draft at QB? That’s given the fact Whaley essentially drafted EJ Manuel twice when he made the trade for Sammy Watkins. (That means, a huge part of the reason he made the deal was he was convinced the Bills were set at QB with Manuel. If you don’t believe in Manuel, you don’t make that trade.) And if they keep Whaley as general manager, will he be looking at what’s best in the long term or what’s the quickest fix so he might better save his job? There are a lot of tough decisions facing the Bills this offseason.

* On the other hand, the Bills had a fairly tough schedule this season. They had to play three tough teams in the AFC West and two outstanding teams in the NFC North. The AFC North got the easy schedule this year. Buffalo might get a little easier draw next year. They face the AFC South, which includes dregs Jacksonville and Tennessee. They also face the NFC East. Maybe with a few changes, a “holdover” quarterback, even Orton, can get them a wild-card spot.

* Pats QB Tom Brady, who played only a half against the Bills, turns 38 in August. He’s fourth in the NFL in TD passes this year and sixth in passer rating. He wants to play well into his 40s.

* Watkins made the play of the game on the first drive with his 43-yard catch and run. He will be fun to watch and even better next season.

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