Rex Ryan no longer is head coach of the Buffalo Bills, but he’s still sticking up for them ahead of the 2017 season.
USA TODAY Sports turned in its annual NFL predictions Monday, and it had the Bills finishing the season 4-12. That projection was based on the fact that Buffalo has a new coach in Sean McDermott, new schemes to learn and a tough schedule, but Ryan was having none of it.
“There’s no way in hell,” Ryan said Wednesday, per The Buffalo News. “That’s a coach’s dream, to have that kind of prediction because there is no pressure on you, but I think that is total bull. If that is the case, why was I fired when I was fired if that’s how bad this team was? So I don’t get that. To saddle them with four wins, I totally disagree with that.”
However, Ryan also took it one step further and boldly claimed the Bills could make the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
“I feel the Bills will surprise a ton of people,” Ryan said. “They are kind of trying to float this under the radar stuff, which I get. That’s probably the way to go, that’s the way everybody goes. Undersell and overproduce. I get it. I believe they will have a lot better year than the experts. Could they be a playoff team? They might very well be.”
Whether you believe the Bills are better than a four-win team almost doesn’t matter, as the playoffs are a whole different animal. Not only must AFC East teams face two tough divisions in the AFC West and NFC South in 2017, but it’s a tough division for the Bills to be in anyway. The New England Patriots are favored to repeat as Super Bowl champions — USA TODAY even had them going 19-0 and winning it all again — and the Miami Dolphins were a wild-card team at 10-6 last season and very well could do it again.
Ryan is right about one thing, though: A playoff run for the Bills definitely would be a surprise.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images
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