The "Power Core" Pre-Season Power Rankings #15
For much of the 2002 season the Buffalo Bills were frankly overmatched by all opposition. This young team played with enthusiasim, but without consistent Quarterback play and without their defensive leader. Tom Donahoe had a huge problem of trying to jumpstart this young, talented corps into a viable threat to the AFC East crown. Although its too early to tell, it looks like he might have helped make these Bills the most improved team heading into the new season.
#15 Buffalo Bills (3 - 13) last in the AFC East
Drew Bledsoe's signing with Buffalo was by all accounts the biggest coup of the off-season. Not only was Bledsoe (the better quarterback in New England) leaving the Patriots, but he was going to a prime nemesis. Bledsoe's arrival begins a new era in Buffalo. An era that should have the Bills "Circling the Wagons" (as the Boomer puts it) much sooner than expected.
The Good: Bledsoe provides a veteran gutsy leadership. He's a guy that has lived through the highs and lows all at once. He won the AFC Championship game last year, but didn't get to play in the Super Bowl. He acted like a man, but made no qualms about where he wanted to spend his next season: anywhere but the bench and Cincinnatti. Bledsoe should grow a confident relationship with Eric Moulds and youngster Peerless Price. On the other side of the ball, Sam Cowart left after missing all of last season with ACL tear. He's with the Jets now. But, the Bills signed London Fletcher from St. Louis and Eddie Robinson from Tennessee. These are not like the Bryce Paup signing of a years ago. These guys should contribute heavily to an above average-defense.
The Bad: The running back by committee is deep, but still suspect. Travis Henry is the No. 1 guy, but they need a prime back to lead the ground attack and unfortunately their salary cap situation did not let them make many moves beyond Fletcher, Robinson and Bledsoe. Remember their big running back signing was the "savior" Richard Huntley. This team also is still a player or two short from outright competeing for the AFC East title and the fact that an injury in key places like Receiver or Offensive Line could cost this team a game or two.
The Ugly: It's a sad, sad world when Pittsburgh has a hand in helping build this team. Not only is Tom Donahoe the GM, but Tom Modrak is his assistant. I just don't like helping Buffalo.
Synopsis: This team will be a wildcard contender. I think the division strength will cost Buffalo this year, but in the AFC East anything can happen. 8 – 9 wins.