Originally written on Football Nation  |  Last updated 7/29/12
There is a good deal of optimism coming out of Bills camp this year. The Bills made headlines this spring when they inked defensive end Mario Williams to the largest contract ever for a defensive player in NFL history. This move, coupled with the signing of defensive end Mark Anderson and the drafting of cornerback Stephon Gilmore has many in Buffalo thinking playoffs. Buffalo looked like a playoff team early in the 2011 season, as they started 5-2 including a dramatic comeback win over division rival New England. However, the wheels came off soon afterwards, as injuries and erratic play led the Bills to drop eight of their final nine games. The team saw Shawne Merriman, Eric Wood, Terrence McGee, Kyle Williams and Fred Jackson all go on season-ending injured reserve during that stretch. Likewise, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered an undisclosed rib injury in Week 8. He played through pain the rest of the season, but saw his play steadily decline under those conditions. Bef...
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