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Bills roundup: PFW calls Bills best of the worst

By Tim Graham

In an honor akin to being named the world's tallest midget, Pro Football Weekly calls the Buffalo Bills the best last-place team.

The Bills finished last in the AFC East by a smidgeon. They had the same 6-10 record as the Miami Dolphins, but finished in last place because the Dolphins beat them twice. Still, the Dolphins ended up drafting ahead of the Bills because they had a weaker strength of schedule.

PFW notes that in four of the past five seasons, a last-place team from the year before has reached the playoffs. In analyzing that possibility for 2012, PFW ranked all eight teams that finished last in their divisions.

Buffalo topped the list. PFW's reasoning was based on the Bills' defensive overhaul through free agency and the draft, a schedule that features a sub-.500 team in each of the last seven games and injuries that overshadowed last year's 5-2 start.

From the story:

The pressure now is on [Ryan] Fitzpatrick and head coach Chan Gailey to at least compete with the Patriots in the division and fend off the pesky Jets and Dolphins to make a run at the postseason. There's no question that's the goal this season, and it's reasonable. ... The young core of talent is there, and some sort of improvement is almost a certainty.

PFW states the Bills have an 85 percent likelihood of improving their record and a 50 percent likelihood of making the playoffs.

Other Bills links from around the cyberhood:

* NFL.com's Ryan McIntyre breaks down the Bills' salary-cap situation by highlighting their cap space, the biggest bargain contract (safety Jairus Byrd), the likeliest cap casualties (too many well-paid defensive linemen, including Shawne Merriman) and the biggest contract issue for 2013 (Fitzpatrick).

* BuffaloRumblings.com writer Matt Warren takes a look at Dwan Edwards, another of those rich D-linemen who could be on the 53-man bubble.

* Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com casts a spotlight on how the workload will be divided between running backs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller.

* Paul Lane reviews Cookie Gilchrist's biography for the Tonawanda News. Lane writes "The Cookie that did not Crumble" is a "solid read that allows the reader the sort of inside glimpse that is rare and fascinating, if occasionally too one-sided."

* Linebacker Nick Barnett gives the NFL Network's Solomon Wilcots an all-access tour of One Bills Drive.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | tgraham@buffnews.com


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | mgaughan@buffnews.com


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | jskurski@buffnews.com

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