The Rex Ryan chapter begins on Sunday when the Buffalo Bills, who have missed the playoffs for 15 straight seasons, host the Indianapolis Colts and their super young quarterback Andrew Luck.
The Colts were third in the league in yards per game last year (406) and their 28.6 points per game was good for sixth in the NFL, delivering a highly successful season at 11 – 5.
The Colts may be even stronger offensively this year with the addition of Frank Gore at running back and 1,000-yard receiver Andre Johnson. The Colts put up numbers and will provide a stiff test for the tough Buffalo defense which last year held opponents to an average of 16 points a game at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
So will it be the Colts’ high-powered offense that wins the day or will the Bills defense make a statement in their first game under Rex and hold the Colts in check and make a game of it?
Of course, Rex’s team and unproven quarterback Tyrod Taylor who threw just 35 passes in his four years backing up Joe Flacco at Baltimore will likely need to score a few touchdowns to get the win, and the contest will be a stern test for the just-about-rookie signal caller against a pretty good Colts defense.
The Bills ground game might be hampered by the hamstring problem to speedy LeSean McCoy and his status, as of this writing, is uncertain. If he’s unable to go, that will add more pressure on Taylor to make the plays to help keep Luck off the field and the Bills in the game.
It is only one game, to be sure, but I think it is a very important contest for this franchise, Rex Ryan, and Tyrod Taylor. If the defense is able to slow down Luck, the Bills have a chance to start the season with a win although I’m sure the Vegas odds makers are making the Colts the slight pick on the road because no one quite knows what to expect from the Bills offense.
I think this game will go a long way in setting the tone for this season, one that has fans hoping this year will be different and Rex will lead the Bills to the playoffs and end the 15-year drought that is the longest in the NFL.
The Bills will be at home, the setting will be electric, and Rex will be Rex, bellowing from the sidelines and hoping his bluster pays off in a win for a franchise that desperately needs to turn things around. Let’s hope Rex is for real this time and the Bills send the faithful home with a win and big hopes for the upcoming season. That would be a great way to start and if the defense is as good as the hype and Taylor is good enough, maybe it will happen. Let’s hope so.