Bengals News

NFL Preview: AFC East

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Reasons to be Cautious:

EJ Manuel – Despite his potential, I did not like this pick and believe it was one of the biggest 1st round reaches in recent memory. Add on top of that a knee injury, and this just smells of bust.

Doug Marrone – I was not a fan of this hire and am quite perplexed at how a guy with a .500 record (25-25), in one of the weakest college football conferences (the conference formally known as the Big East), off an 8-5 record and 1 year removed from a 5-7 record (1-6 in the Big East; T-7th), manages to get an NFL job. Then, he ties his coaching career to EJ Manuel? Facing Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are a lot different than facing the likes of UCF etc.

Receivers – I don’t like Stevie Johnson, his hands, or his attitude (this week Johnson said the Patriots can’t stop him – wow). They lost David Nelson and Donald Jones. If starting EJ Manuel and Jeff Tuel isn’t bad enough, they are going to be throwing a WR with a big mouth and bad hands (Johnson) and another WR that is 5’11”, 188 lbs, and has a grand total of 31 total NFL catches.

Defense – When you can’t stop the run (31st against rush) and you give up a lot of points (26th in points – 27.2/g), that is a recipe for disaster. It makes you wonder why 3 of their first 4 draft picks were offense. I don’t see Lawson or Branch improving these numbers much.

Ralph Wilson – Is there a worse owner in sports? A couple of arguments could be made, but the Bills have essentially been irrelevant for 20+ years (ever since the 4 straight runner-ups).

Overall:

I love Spiller. I really don’t like much else. If Manuel plays well (big if), the Bills could challenge make a run toward 7 wins and challenge the Dolphins for 2nd place. However, I don’t see any scenario that has this team as anything but fans come playoff time.

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