The 2012 season was marked more by bad defense than offense for the Bills, but the offense wasn’t great either. With the exception of the running game manned by CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson, the offense stuttered under Ryan Fitzpatrick. The passing offense was inconsistent and shaky all season. The Bills ranked 25th in the NFL in passing yards in 2012, and even though Fitzpatrick completed 60% of his passes and had 24 touchdowns, it was not enough in Buffalo.
“Thriller” Spiller looks locked in to take over the lead running back duties in Buffalo. He rushed for six yards per carry last season, going for over 1200 yards and six touchdowns. Jackson suffered a major injury for the second season in a row, but if he is healthy, the Bills will likely still use him to punch the ball in, carrying over the deadly 1-2 punch the Bills have in the backfield.
Much like the Jets, the Bills have a similar issue at quarterback; except neither guy has played for the Bills yet. They drafted EJ Manuel in the first round of the draft, and brought in Kevin Kolb to compete for the starting job. While no news has been officially released about who will start the season as the starter, Manuel has seen his stock rise over the summer, and the possibility of him starting this year have gone from slim to a real good bet.
Even if Manuel does win the job, the variable of a rookie QB is hard to overcome, and it might be the biggest question for this team and any team in a similar situation. Remember, most people saw the Hawks, Colts and Skins as bad teams last year, and all three made the playoffs with rookies under center.
Also, outside of drafting Manuel and Robert Woods with their first two picks, the Bills haven’t’ done much to improve their offense through free agency. That is also a big question mark, although they really didn’t need to do much. I just wish they could have beefed up their offensive line a bit more this season.
Even though they already have solid offensive personnel, I can’t give the Bills more than an average grade at this point in the summer. Obviously the class of offseason offense still has a lot of time. However if the Bills don’t show any improvement in the preseason, a grade of a C is the highest I can go. If we were grading their defensive offseason, I would surely be giving them a higher grade, but on the offensive side of the ball, the odds of them struggling out of the gate are high.
My Grade: C
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