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The Buffalo Bills may be a 'Hard Knocks' favorite in 2016

The Buffalo Bills are one of seven teams that can be forced to appear on 'Hard Knocks' this season. Here's a look at why they may be the favorite.

Seven teams can be forced to appear on HBO’s Hard Knocks in 2016. According to NFL rules, a team can be forced to appear on the show as long as they meet the following criteria: No playoff appearances in the last two seasons, you have a returning head coach, and you haven’t appeared on the show in 10 years.

The Buffalo Bills clearly meet this criteria and it’s hard to find another team who would provide more entertainment. In addition to the Bills, the following teams could be forced to appear on Hard Knocks: Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, St. Louis Rams and the New Orleans Saints.

Now, Buffalo appearing on the show isn’t a slam dunk by any means. HBO and the NFL may lean towards one of the franchises attempting to move to Los Angeles. There would certainly provide plenty of interesting material. Chicago is another intriguing team due to their market size. Jay Cutler attempting to avoid HBO’s camera crew for the duration of the show would also add an entertainment value. The Saints have a superstar at quarterback and a popular head coach, so they have a few things working in their favor. You could even argue that the Jaguars have some up and coming offensive talent that HBO could display, but they seem like a long shot to appear on the show. All things considered, the Bills should be the favorite to appear on the show and here’s why:

The Rex Factor

Rex Ryan appeared on Hard Knocks with the Jets in 2010 and he stole the show with his profanity laced outbursts. People tuned into the show to see what Ryan and the Jets were up to on a weekly basis and the Jets were actually asked to appear on the show for a second consecutive season in 2011. The Jets declined and no team actually ended up appearing due the NFL’s labor situation. Among the eligible head coaching candidates, Ryan is by far the most entertaining choice.

Star Power

The Buffalo Bills have a good blend of star power. LeSean McCoy is the biggest superstar on the team and is household name. Sammy Watkins isn’t quite on McCoy’s level in terms of star power at this time, but he’s well on his way to becoming a national star.

In addition to this duo, fans would tune in for the likes of Tyrod Taylor, Charles Clay, Richie Incognito (if he re-signs), Marcell Dareus and Jerry Hughes among others.

There is plenty of talent on both sides of the ball for the Bills which works in Buffalo’s favor to being chosen for the show.

A Possible Playoff Contender

Don’t laugh. The Bills haven’t appeared in the playoffs in 16 years but they have finished 9-7 and 8-8 in the last two seasons. Here is their record over the last two seasons compared to other teams that could be forced to appear on the show.

Buffalo Bills


Chicago Bears


Jacksonville Jaguars


Oakland Raiders


San Diego Chargers


St. Louis Rams


New Orleans Saints



Although any of the teams listed could have a turnaround season in 2016, Buffalo has been the most competitive team among the franchises that could be forced to appear on the show. It’s another factor that works in Buffalo’s favor.

Fixing the Defense

One of the biggest storylines can focus on the Bills attempting to fix a defense that didn’t meet expectations in 2015. Ryan is a defensive minded coach so his insights on what happened in 2015 and what is going to change in 2016 would add an interesting element to the show. His interactions with players would be entertaining as would his meetings with defensive coaches.

Another team could volunteer to appear on Hard Knocks this offseason and HBO may opt for the Los Angeles storyline, but when all factors are considered it’s pretty clear to see that the Bills would bring the most to the table for Hard Knocks.




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