Overview of Madden Teams - Buffalo Bills
**This article was written prior to the Kiko Alonso-Lesean McCoy trade, and the trade for quarterback Matt Cassel**
The Buffalo Bills have a roster with a lot of potential, good young players, and good veterans. They are a team that can surprise people online who are not expecting the game to even be close. In another season or two in franchise mode, it could possibly be Buffalo and Miami duking it out for the AFC East crown...
Quarterback - 2014 veteran starter Kyle Orton has retired, leaving young EJ Manuel (74 overall, 24 years old) with the keys to the offense. Manuel is a relative unknown at this point, but with his athleticism (83 speed, 85 agility) and throw power (93), he has potential. He does, however, need to work on his accuracy (73 short, 75 medium, 67 deep) in order to be more effective. Backup Jeff Tuel (64, 23) should be relegated to third string, as he is not as capable to be a backup as other options on the market may be.
Running Backs - This could be a strong point of the offense, as the Bills have a trio of backs who can carry the load consistency. Fred Jackson (83, 33) is old for a runner, but he is still plenty effective. His trucking (88) and carry (86) could be a great foil for 27 year old CJ Spiller (82) and his tremendous quickness (96 speed, 95 agility). While Spiller's carry rating isn't quite as good (78), he can still do great amounts of damage with the ball in his hands. The third string back should be Boobie Dixon (74, 26), as he is basically a younger version of Jackson. His trucking (90), and carrying (88) are both better than the elder statesman, and he should see plenty of touches. Fullback Marqueis Gray (65, 24) needs to improve on everything before he can be considered a solid starter.
Wide Receivers - Sammy Watkins (85, 21) is a great option as a starting wideout for this team. His speed (94 speed, 96 agility), hands (89 catch, 86 catch in traffic), and route running (79) all span from "good" to "great". Robert Woods (80, 22) should line up on the other side. His hands are very good as well (85 catch and catch in traffic), as is his route running (80). Chris Hogan (68, 27) should line up in the slot, with his 77 catch, 76 catch in traffic, and 75 route running. Marcus Easley (65, 26) is very similar to Hogan, with his hands (74 catch and catch in traffic), and Marquise Goodwin (69, 23) provides a speed threat (97 speed, 92 agility). Overall though, the depth isn't quite there for these Buffalo receivers.
Tight Ends - Scott Chandler (82, 29) is a decent option as a starter. His speed isn't quite great (72 speed, 77 agility), but it's decent. His hands are also solid (83 catch, 86 catch in traffic). Chris Gragg (73, 24) is also an option as a receiving tight end. He has good speed (88 speed, 85 agility), and decent hands (73 catch, 76 catch in traffic). Lee Smith (76, 26) can block well (85 run blocking) in case he is needed for a toss or a sweep.
Offensive Line - Left tackle Cordy Glenn (89, 24), center Eric Wood (82, 28), and right tackle SeAntrel Henderson (77, 22) highlight the potential this line has. Guards Chris Williams (76, 29) and Kraig Urbik (77, 28) are serviceable, but not quite at the next level.
Defensive Line - Mario Williams (94, 28) is a beast coming off the left edge. His block shedding (89 finesse moves, 74 block shed), tackling (80 tackle, 84 hit power), and pursuit (88) are quite good. Jerry Hughes (86, 26) is a great compliment to Williams at the right end position. His 92 acceleration and 85 speed ensure he gets a quick jump off the line, and is able to chase down the quarterback or ball carrier. While his tackling could be better (73 tackle, 66 hit power), his block shedding (70 power moves, 96 finesse moves, 67 block shed) is good, as is his pursuit (87). In the middle, Buffalo has a great pair of defensive tackles. Marcel Dareus (95, 24) teams with Kyle Williams (95, 31) to create a line that is near impossible to run through. With great strength (94 for Dareus, 91 for Williams), tackling (93 tackle with 90 hit power, and 94 tackle with 50 hit power), and block shedding (94 power moves with 93 block shed, and 91 power moves with 94 block shed), this is one of the best defensive lines in the league.
Linebackers - Nigel Bradham (83, 24) starts on the left side, with slid speed (84 speed, 82 agility), very good tackling (87 tackle, 90 hit power), very good pursuit (92), and good zone coverage (83). He is a good choice to start outside. However, I think he should split time with rookie Preston Brown (77, 21). Brown has a great deal of potential, with decent athletic ability (78 speed, 74 agility), good tackling (85 tackle, 90 hit power), good pursuit (87), and solid zone coverage (79). On the right side, Kiko Alonso (88, 24) takes no prisoners, with his decent speed (81 speed, 83 agility), great hands (78 catch), very good tackling ability (88 tackle, 80 hit power), great pursuit (95), and very good zone coverage (86). In another season, he could become a top five outside linebacker in the league. In the middle, the oldest starting linebacker Brandon Spikes (87, 26) contains the middle of the field. His athleticism is decent (76 speed, 79 agility), his tackling is elite (95 tackle and hit power), good pursuit (92), but below average zone coverage (69). He is a great option on first and second downs. On third downs (or passing situations), Preston Brown could come in, in relief of Spikes.
Cornerbacks - Stephon Gilmore (85, 23) is a star in the making. He has good speed (93 speed, 87 agility), good hands (66 catch), and very good coverage ratings (88 man, and 89 zone coverage). His size (6'1", 190) and 85 press also help him against bigger receivers. Across from him should be Leodis McKelvin (81, 28). He has good coverage ratings as well (85 man, 83 zone) and can cover the second receiver well. In the slot should be veteran Corey Graham (88, 29). He has great coverage ratings (89 man, 93 zone), as well as good press (84), should he need it. His hands (70 catch) should also be useful on defense. 22 year old Nickell Roby (75 overall) and 25 year old Ron Brooks (70) provide excellent depth to this secondary.
Safety - Da'Norris Searcy (80, 25) is starting at free safety on this defense. His athleticism is solid (84 speed, 82 agility), as are his hands (67 catch). Searcy can tackle (75 tackle and hit power) and has solid zone coverage (79). Duke Williams (75, 23) provides good depth behind him, with good zone coverage (80). At strong safety, Aaron Williams (79, 24) has good speed (87 speed, 86 agility) and coverage ratings (72 man, 81 zone), but he needs to improve in the tackling department (66 tackle, 68 hit power). Bacarri Rambo (74, 24) provides solid, young depth behind him.
Summary - With this team's needs (a stable quarterback situation, wide receiver, both guards, and strong safety), it wouldn't surprise me to see players winning with the Bills in low-score, defensive affairs. The running game looks to be solid, but in order to keep the defense honest, a true franchise quarterback must be found (along with some better wide receiver depth). Defensively, this is a very good team (especially the front seven and cornerbacks), but a starting strong safety needs to be found as well. I suggest this team to the player who enjoys those 17-14 wins, relying on your defense, and not using a high-powered offense.