The fact that the national media over looks the Buffalo Bills is nothing new to fans and players in the Western New York area. Mix the facts that the Bills are a small market and haven't made the playoffs since 1999, and that stigma of a losing franchise can't be ignored.
However, ESPN's AFC East blogger James Walker has picked the Bills as his sleeper pick this season. Walker outlines the moves that the Bills made in the offseason, and the double-edged sword they have in the backfield with Fred Jackson and C. J. Spiller. Walker also wrote that the AFC East is weakening, giving the Bills a better shot to cross the threshold into the playoffs.
"A case can be made that the AFC East became a weaker division this offseason. The division wasn't strong to begin with; only the Patriots finished with a winning record in 2011. But the 6-10 Dolphins gutted their roster, getting rid of top players such as Pro Bowl receiverBrandon Marshall and leading tackler and starting safety Yeremiah Bell. Miami also failed to land a franchise quarterback and settled on 34-year-old David Garrard as the potential starter next season. It's early, but it's hard to imagine Miami's finishing with a better record than last season," Walker wrote in his blog. "Meanwhile, the Jets are an aging team with chemistry issues. New York gave embattled quarterback Mark Sanchez a three-year contract extension and then traded for popular backup Tebow, setting up a potentially explosive situation. The Jets will be on a year-long implosion watch, and their arrow could be trending downward after last season's mediocre 8-8 finish. The Jets, Dolphins and Bills are all chasing the Patriots, who are clearly the favorites in the division. But the Bills, who split with New England last season, did a solid job to make up some ground."
Walker also points out the fact that Buffalo is getting healthy, and the fact that they have a top-10 pick in the draft coming up in a couple of weeks.
For Bills fans, excitement coming into the season has been a long time coming and the team hopes they can get over the hump this season. Having a national blogger like Walker take notice give fans a bode of confidence that the team is headed in the right direction.
For Walker's complete blog, click here.
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