Permanently stationed at or near the bottom of the AFC East, the Buffalo Bills own the NFL’s longest playoff drought — 15 years and counting.
That’s about to change. So says Brandon Spikes, anyway.
“I think we’re gonna shock the world this season … I’m all in,” Spikes told reporters on Monday.
Defecting from the rival Patriots, the veteran linebacker was Buffalo’s biggest free agent signing this offseason. An excellent run defender, Spikes will man the middle of a defense that surrendered 128.9 yards on the ground in 2013.
His addition strengthens an already impressive front seven, which features sack mavens Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes, along with reigning Defensive Player of the Year runner-up Kiko Alonso.
On offense, the Bills improved at the skill positions, drafting receiver Sammy Watkins and acquiring running back Bryce Brown from the Eagles. Both players are shifty and dynamic, though Watkins — whom the Bills traded up to No. 4 overall to select — is the feather in general manager Doug Whaley’s cap.
There’s little question they’re a better team on paper than this time last year. But for Spikes’ proclamation to come true, quarterback E.J. Manuel must rebound from a rookie campaign that was largely mired in disappointment.
If Manuel can make the leap, the Bills should be in contention to accomplish what hasn’t been done this millennium.
(Photo credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)