The News on Wednesday released its predictions for the Bills' 2018 record, and it's safe to say that the team isn't expected to return to the postseason.
Bills beat writers Vic Carucci, Jay Skurski and Mark Gaughan, as well as a handful of other writers, all have the Bills finishing under .500. In fact, all seven writers polled picked the Bills to finish with between five and seven wins.
Milt Northrop, who is generally one of the top News writers at picking games against the point spread each season, slotted the Bills for a 6-10 finish.
"The Bills will need a super defensive performance to make up for deficiencies on offense," he wrote. "Nathan Peterman will have to play way over his head to carry an offensively challenged team, and Josh Allen is at least a half-season away from taking over. Even then he might not be ready. The defense will have its moments, but lack of offense will handicap the Bills."
I'm slotting the Bills for 5-11. They overachieved last season and won nine games with roughly seven-win talent, and they were stronger last season at offensive line and quarterback. I feel like the range of outcomes for the Bills is between 3-13 and 8-8, so it would put the over/under at 5.5; forced to choose an integer, I'd go lower, with the team's turnover margin regressing sans Tyrod Taylor.
How Sean McDermott will make himself better in Year 2: Vic Carucci detailed how Sean McDermott self-critiques through the use of tabs in his notebook, such as "Improve 2018," filled with things he wished he'd done differently last season, and "Improve 2019," which already has entries written this season.
Brian Daboll's offense promises unpredictability, but what about the talent? Bills players discussed their excitement over their new offensive scheme. "Coach Daboll says you don't want to try to pound a nail into a cement wall," fullback Patrick DiMarco said, meaning to not play into the defense's strength. "Our offense is very exotic," right tackle Jordan Mills added.
McCoy named captain: Pay no attention to the offseason drama surrounding running back LeSean McCoy. He was named a Bills captain for 2018.
How soon will the OL improve? "No Eric Wood. No Richie Incognito. No Cordy Glenn. Yup, this offensive line is the disaster everyone expected," Vic Carucci wrote. How soon will it get better? Wood was consulted for the answer.
Jim Kelly reaches "another milestone" in jaw reconstruction, wife says: Kelly had a successful surgery for the next phase of his jaw reconstruction, Jill Kelly posted on Instagram.
On TV Thursday: Finally, a game that counts. The Falcons visit the Eagles for an 8:20 p.m. season-opening game on NBC.
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