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2013 Season Review: Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills did as well as everyone expected in head coach Doug Marrone’s first season. Even though the Bills finished 6-10 and in last place in the AFC East, the future looks bright for fans in Western New York. Here are the 2013 positives, negatives and the top priorities for 2014.

Positives: Despite the 6-10 record, the Bills defense were among the NFL’s best. They finished 10th in yards allowed per game and setting a team record with 57 sacks this season. Mario Williams led team with 13 sacks, and Jerry Hughes had his best season as a pro tallying a career-high 10 sacks. Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus also set career highs in sacks as they helped form one of the best pass rushing defenses in all of the NFL.

Another positive for the Buffalo Bills in 2013 was their rushing attack. Even though C.J. Spiller didn’t have the breakout season some might have thought, the Bills still finished fifth in total rushing yards. The two headed monster of Spiller and Fred Jackson combined for 1,823 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns in spite of the lack of a consistent passing attack on offense.

Negatives: I think everyone expected a learning curve for rookie quarterback EJ Manuel in 2013, but you have to think the Bills didn’t expect to finish 26th in passing offense. Because of the injuries to Manuel, and receivers Stevie Johnson, Robert Woods and Marquise Goodman, the Bills’ play calling was very predictable. Marrone wanted to run a fast-paced, no-huddle style offense, but with all of the injuries, and backup quarterback Thad Lewis starting five games, they weren’t not able to do so.

Top Priorities Heading into the 2014 Season: Many expect safety free agent Jairus Byrd to be playing for another team in 2014. If that’s the case, the Bills will have to address that position via draft or through free agency. Another concern is stopping the run. The team gave up an average of 129 yards per game on the ground last season. While the Bills were able to sack the quarterback, they couldn’t find ways to get teams off the field in short yardage situations.

The Bills may need to replace leading receiver Scott Chandler if he leaves through free agency. He was their leading receiver during the 2013 season as he had 53 catches for 655 yards. If Chandler leaves, the only other tight ends on the roster are Tony Moeaki, Lee Smith and Chris Gragg.

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