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Power rankings and outlooks on the 2014 season

Posted Feb 9, 2014

Final power rankings, and outlooks for the 2014 football season.

NFL.com, Elliot Harrison – No. 23
Buffalo should be in an excellent salary-cap situation, meaning it can fill several small holes at linebacker, on the offensive line and in the secondary, and figure out what to do with Jairus Byrd. Coach Doug Marrone has so much young talent; it will be up to his staff to develop it. Drafting another 'backer would be pleasant, too.

Yahoo Sports, Frank Schwab – No. 23
Doug Marrone already announced quarterback EJ Manuel will be his 2014 starter, and that was the right move. But now it's on Manuel to show that was the correct call.

Bleacher Report,  David Daniels – No. 24
Four of Buffalo's 10 losses were decided by seven points or less, despite EJ Manuel missing six games due to injury. It's a competitive club that's one strong offseason and a healthy core away from playoff contention.

ESPN.com – No. 25
If EJ Manuel can stay healthy, the Bills could compete next season. The defense finished top five in sacks, interceptions, opponent completion percentage and opponent Total QBR.

CBS Sports, Pete Prisco – No. 26
It's all about the growth of EJ Manuel next season. He has to improve. And he will.

Pro Football Focus – No. 26
Kinks remain in need of ironing, but the Bills showed some fight and with that defensive line and a talented rookie linebacker in the middle, there’s already plenty to look forward to for 2014 – just have to keep the QB on field to be sure of what they have in him.

SB Nation, Jason Chilton – No. 26
New Year's Resolution - One foot in front of the other. It may not have been totally reflected in their 6-10 record, but the Bills did a lot of things right in 2013. They've assembled a defense with talent at all three levels and put together a solid cadre of weapons for E.J. Manuel, though his triple dose of knee injuries kept him from exploiting them for much of the season. Sticking to the plan will have the Bills in as good a position as anyone when Tom Brady finally falters. Of course, apportioning snaps with the realization that C.J. Spiller is one of the NFL's five most explosive players wouldn't be a bad idea either.

USA Today – No. 28
Will strides made on defense be lost without departed coordinator Mike Pettine around?

Bleacher Report, Eric Mack – Offseason prediction
Quarterback
Yes. EJ Manuel showed enough in his first year to at least get a few years of a leash on his development. 

Offseason Prediction
The Bills need to keep their defense intact, which require a second-year franchise tag or a long-term contract for Jairus Byrd. We will go with the latter and pencil in University of Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack (no relation to the writer) as their No. 1 pick. New defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz should like that collection of talent he inherits.