The Detroit Lions travel to take on the Buffalo Bills and their former head coach Jim Schwartz in week five.
To get a feel for the Bills side of preparations for the 2014 season, I got together with Dennis Amo of BuffaLowDown for a Q&A. Here are my questions followed by his answers.
1. How would you assess the team’s offseason? Did they do what they needed to do through the draft and free agency?
"The Buffalo Bills have addressed many needs during the off season so far. The addition of Sammy Watkins will add another level on offense that is much needed as well as some scoring potential. The Bills addressed needs on the defensive side of the ball, mainly adding depth to their linebacking corps with Brandon Spikes and Keith Rivers, both known for their run stopping power which plagued the Bills last year. The Bills have lost Kiko Alonso for the season due to a knee injury but with the moves made so far it is not as big of a loss as it could have been."
2. Which Rookie are you most excited to see play in 2014 and why?
"Sammy Watkins, no doubt. He adds a level of excitement to the field and the offense that you can’t recreate. Watkins will add depth to the field along with the ability to catch any ball anywhere on the field. He is able to make plays at all levels on the field and for the Bills, this type of player was needed, a true #1 wide receiver."
3. What is the biggest question that still needs to be answered heading into training camp?
"The quarterback position stills remains the biggest question for the Bills. Manuel is coming of an injury plagued rookie season where not much was accomplished and inconsistencies during the off season so far still leave a lot of questions to be answered. Past Manuel, the Bills have Jeff Tuel and Thad Lewis, neither are #1 quarterbacks, so the situation has not changed from last year in any way whatsoever.Without a solid quarterback, there is not a single team in this league that will make the playoffs or have a winning season. The Bills trying to break their 14 year playoff drought, need a solid quarterback for that to happen. Manuel needs to show a lot of progression in just a short time."
4. What are your expectations for the team in 2014?
"The Bills have a lot of potential for the up coming season . As mentioned above the quarterback position is the biggest question at hand. At this point, without knowing where Manuel stands and his relationship with the rest of the offense, I have seen predictions as high as a 10-6 season and making the playoffs and I have also seen predictions for a similar 6-10 season as well. I think with what they have been able to do so far and the news coming our of Bills camp a solid 8-8 prediction is a safe one at this point for the Bills."
5. Right here, right now, are you marking down the game against the Lions as a win, loss or toss-up?
"It seems that the past couple of years the Bills and Lions have been playing against each other. I was truly hoping for a Thanksgiving Day game against the Bills and Lions this year, but to no avail we didn’t get that lucky. I always mark down the game against the Lions as a loss, mainly due to a stereotypical thought process of the Lions being a sub-par team.I know that they have gotten better over the years and are able to make competitive moves within the league but I still see them as a win whenever the Bills match-up against them. This is also a game that is not high-powered so circling the date is usually not done, at least not for me."
For more on the Bills, check out BuffaLowDown.