Aug 16, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller (28) runs the ball during the first half against the Minnesota Vikings at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Bills will be the surprise team this year.

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The Bills have gone from perennial Kings of the AFC to its yearly Jokers. It seems there’s always an abundant amount of optimism in Buffalo during the off-season only for the team to revert back to their losing ways once the real games start. Those Jim Kelly-Thurman Thomas-Bruce Smith years were ages ago and they havent been to the playoffs since 1999. It’s been tough to be a Bills fan. There is good news though, the Bills are looking good and could actually make some noise this year. I know, its been said before but there’s a legitimate reason to be excited about this team and not just for the future but this year as well.

In the NFL it all starts with a coach and a quarterback. The Bills new duo of Doug Marrone and Ej Manuel were both perplexing decisions when they were initially made. There seemed to be better coaches and QBs available but this pairing seems to have been made in football heaven. Although Manuel is bang up right now he should be ready by week one and in his absence Kevin Kolb hasn’t exactly set the world on fire with his play so he has been named the starter. In Manuel’s limited time he’s looked superb and although it’s just the preseason its clear a rookie or a young QB can come into the league and be successful when coaches tailor things to their skill set which is exactly what Marrone has done. The coach has installed a system similar to the K-Gun offense from the Jim Kelly days which fits the offense just right. He’s also made it a focal point to make sure Cj Spiller will get a lot of touches which the last regime couldnt seem to do but don’t forget about Fred Jackson as will. If you look at the Superbowl last year you will see three things that the 49ers, Ravens and BIlls have in common. They all have QBs with great arm strength, coaches who tailored the offense to that QB and a dynamic running game. The Bills have that. They are lacking on defense but good thing about that is that they have a lot of talent at all three levels led by Stephon Gilmore and Mario Williams. If the Bills can get the most out of all that talent they have on defense, combined with the fact that , no matter how they look in the preseason, the Pats could be vulnerable, the Bills will sneak into the playoffs as a wild card team. They might even make some noise but if they don’t im sure the playoff starved Bills fans will still take it.

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