Detroit wraps up the preseason tomorrow at home against the Bills, and to get you an idea of what kind of team they are, I exchanged questions with Brian from Buffalo Rumblings, which is the Bills blog here at SB Nation. My answers to his questions can be seen over at Buffalo Rumblings, and his responses are below.
Pride of Detroit: After trading Willis McGahee, the Bills went and drafted Cal running back Marshawn Lynch, who, depending on who you ask, is poised to have a big rookie season. I know he is going pretty high in fantasy drafts, so what can we expect out of Lynch in his rookie year?
Buffalo Rumblings: It's obvious that Lynch is a lot more talented than He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (it's going to be fun watching HWMNBN spread evil and discord in Baltimore this season). Lynch has looked good in pre-season workouts, but the games themselves have been a different story - the Bills have had some trouble getting their run game going.
As high as the expectations on Lynch are, they need to be tempered. It's very rare for a rookie back to hit 1,000 yards - especially when they're competing with another veteran for touches. I expect Lynch to roll for about 800-900 yards, another 250-300 through the air and 5-7 touchdowns. Those are solid numbers for a rookie, but they may not be as high as most people expect. As long as he's a playmaker for the Bills, they don't need him to have monstrous stats in his rookie season.
POD: J.P. Losman had a solid season in 2006 with 19 touchdowns and over 3,000 yards passing, but can he top it in 2007?
BR: Yes, he can top it - and he'll have to if the team is going to be successful. The Bills spent their off-season building the offense around Losman. They jettisoned their RB in favor of Lynch, a more proven receiver, and gave Losman an O-Line with far more potential to keep him upright. He's got talent around him. If he doesn't produce better statistics, then the Bills will be very, very bad.
My best guess is that Losman's stats won't wow anybody, but they will improve. I expect around 3300 passing yards and 20-23 touchdowns. The most important stat, however, is interceptions - if he can shave 2-3 off of his total of 14 from last season, then the Bills could be very good. You see the tightrope we're walking with this kid. He's got the attitude to succeed - really, at this point, all he needs to do is prove it.
POD: When I went through and looked at the regular season schedule, I really found myself wanting to pick the Bills to win quite often. Realistically, how many games could this Bills team win, and are we going to see them back in the postseason?
BR: I have maintained for most of this off-season that the Bills, while more talented than they have been in about a decade, are far too young to make a serious push for the playoffs. I expect a repeat of how the club performed last season - they'll start off slow, and then the schemes will kick in for the young guys and we'll hit a nice little winning streak against some easier competition in the second half of the season. This Bills team will scare a lot of playoff teams; 8-8 is a realistic expectation for 2007.
Thanks again to Brian for exchanging the questions and stay tuned for coverage of the game tomorrow.