The Bengals have been linked to what some experts call the second toughest schedule in the NFL this season. I don't put much faith in those statements as there is so much change from year to year in the NFL. In Week 6 the Bengals travel to Buffalo to face the Bills. Many are deeming this as one of the more challenging matchups the Bengals will have this year and the Bills' defense isn't to be taken lightly.
Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, NY
Week 6: Sunday, October 18th, 1:00 p.m. EST
Rex Ryan and his sideshow. Ryan is entering his first year with the Bills after coaching the division-rival New York Jets from 2009-2014.
Recapping Last Season:
After finishing last season with a 9 and 7 record, head coach Doug Marrone left the Bills to pursue an opportunity with another team. He is now an offensive line coach in Jacksonville. The situation in Buffalo must have been so toxic that a line coach for a terrible football team was more appealing.
The Bills brought in newly fired Rex Ryan to lead the squad. In his obnoxious way, Ryan has managed to rejuvenate the fan base for Buffalo and has people excited for the season. One thing that came in with the regime change is free agents. The Bills were able to upgrade this season and actually have a pretty strong roster to run out on the field. The question marks come around the most important position, the quarterback. Tyrod Taylor has been named the Bills' starting quarterback after E.J. Manuel lost the role that he was deemed earlier in the offseason a lock for. Matt Cassel also had the opportunity to be the signal caller for the Bills, but he too lost out to Taylor.
2015 Season Outlook:
Based on their performance last season, the Bills could have a successful year if they figure out their QB situation. The running backs were given a shot in the arm when outstanding runner LeSean McCoy was snagged from the Eagles. Add this to the crew of Boobie Dixon and Bryce Brown and there is a legitimate three-headed monster for the running game.
The wide receiver group also was upgraded. Sammy Watkins and crew were joined by Percy Harvin and now there is a strong group of guys who will be catching passes from one of the above quarterbacks. With upgrades in many other areas of the roster, this Bills team could potentially be battling for the division at the end of the season.
Very Early Outlook:
The Bills and the Bengals always seem to play tough games. Being on the road in early October, you'd think weather should not be a factor in this match, but the winter in Buffalo starts quite early and you can really never know what to expect when playing in Buffalo. What it will come down to is if the Bills' offense has put it together enough to attack the Bengals' defense.
I expect a heavy dose of the running game as the Bills will want to limit the most questionable piece in their offense at the quarterback position. This is a similar outlook to to how many have pegged the Bengals: a solid roster with a questionable QB. So the outcome of this game may come down to which quarterback executes better and which team steps up to help their signal caller. I think the Bengals have the edge and should come away with the victory.