The Buffalo Bills will be the bad guys on Sunday afternoon when the Baltimore Ravens kick off the 2016 season at M&T Bank Stadium.
The Bills are coached by a longtime Ravens coach and quarterbacked by a former Ravens quarterback. Here are some things to know about Buffalo:
1. The Bills finished 8-8 last year and missed the playoffs for the 16th straight year. That’s the longest current playoff drought in the NFL and all major sports.
2. The Ravens had never played a post season game the last time the Bills were in the playoffs (a wildcard loss at Tennessee in the Music City Miracle following the 1999 season).
3. Jack Kemp and O.J. Simpson are among the Bills’ all-time great players. Kemp quarterbacked the Bills to a pair of AFL championships and was the Republican Party’s nominee for Vice President in the 1996 election. O.J. Simpson, well, I’m guessing you know his story, but he did set a kickoff weekend record that still stands when he ran for 250 yards at New England on his way to the first 2,000 rushing season in NFL history.
4. In four years as Baltimore’s backup, QB Tyrod Taylor completed 19 passes for 199 yards and no touchdowns (2 interceptions). He exceeded 4 years of work in a single game at Miami last season when Taylor completed 21 passes for 277 yards and 3 touchdowns.
5. Bills head coach Rex Ryan spent 10 years on the Ravens coaching staff. He coached the D-line from 1999-2004 and was defensive coordinator 2005-2008.
6. Ryan’s run as a head coach has been a mixed bag, but his teams have been ready to play in week one. Rex is after his sixth straight Kickoff Weekend win.
7. Former Raven and future Hall of Famer Ed Reed is making his coaching debut Sunday serving as the Bills assistant secondary coach.
8. The Bills and Ravens are 3-3 all-time with the Ravens winning 3 of the 4 games played in Baltimore.
9. The Bills did a decent job taking care of the football in ’15 they were plus 6 in turnover ratio the Ravens were among the worst in the NFL at minus 15.
10. This would have been the 50th year for the Buffalo “Jills” but the Jills were silenced in 2014 when some cheerleaders sought back wages for their appearances and legal expenses. The Jills may be back when the suit is settled. Go! Fight! Win!