The Bills added defensive ends Mario Williams and Mark Anderson in the offseason. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are a couple of solid running backs. But QB Ryan Fitzpatrick needs to cut down on the interceptions this season if Buffalo is going to compete for a playoff spot. ESPN's NFL experts pick them to finish 2nd in the AFC East this season.
-RJ's Pick: Buffalo by 6
St. Louis at Detroit 1:00 p.m. [Line: Lions by 7.5]
The Rams were 2-14 last season, no playoffs. The Lions were 10-6 last season, lost in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
The Rams have a new head coach in Jeff Fisher and a new offensive coordinator in Brian Schottenheimer. This is a rebuilding year in St. Louis, and the big question is if Sam Bradford can show significant improvement over a disappointing 2011. ESPN's NFL experts pick them to finish 4th in the NFC West this season.
Detroit had success last season despite two big weaknesses: lack of a consistent running game and a poor secondary. They enter this season with two main concerns: the running game and the secondary. Sigh. The Lions drafted tackle Riley Reiff and WR Ryan Broyles, both of whom are good enough to start. The defensive line is stacked, and the passing game should be one of the best in the league as long as QB Matthew Stafford remains healthy. But they play in arguably the toughest division in the NFL. ESPN's NFL experts pick them to finish 3rd in the NFC North this season.
-RJ's Pick: Detroit by 15
Miami at Houston 1:00 p.m. [Line: Texans by 10]
The Dolphins were 6-10 last season, no playoffs. The Texans were 10-6 last season, won the AFC South, lost in the Divisional round of the playoffs.
Joe Philbin is Miami's new head coach. The Dolphins will be starting rookie Ryan Tannehill at QB. That shouldn't be too concerning since by all accounts he has the skills, the intelligence, and the maturity to be a legitimate NFL starter. The problem is, who is he supposed to throw to? Legedu Naanee and Davone Bess are not exactly elite receivers. ESPN's NFL experts pick them to finish 4th in the AFC East this season.
Houston is a team that has few, if any, weaknesses. Matt Schaub is a solid quarterback, bordering on elite status. Andre Johnson is a Pro Bowl wide receiver. Arian Foster is an excellent running back. The defense is quite good, even after losing DE Mario Williams to free agency. A deep playoff run is expected. ESPN's NFL experts pick them to finish 1st in the AFC South this season.