"I think we're gonna shock the world this season," Spikes said Monday. "I'm all in."
It's been a brutal existence for Buffalo inside an AFC East dominated for more than a decade by the high-flying Patriots. After spending the past four seasons in New England, though, Spikes believes his new employer is ready to be more than an intradivision punching bag.
Buffalo's front seven arguably is a top-five unit coming off a campaign that saw the Bills set a franchise mark with 57 sacks. If new coordinator Jim Schwartz can reproduce Mike Pettine's handiwork, Buffalo's pass rush looms as one of the most exciting in football.
On offense, the backfield remains one of the deepest in the league, while Buffalo's revamped receiving corps has the tools to win matchups behind the trio of Sammy Watkins, Mike Williams and Robert Woods.
The most pressing unknown is the guy throwing the passes. EJ Manuel's inconsistent rookie season renders him an enigma entering Year 2, but play-caller Nathaniel Hackett says his young quarterback is "growing rapidly" in a scheme that promises a high-octane pace come September.
If Manuel can do his part, Spikes might be on to something.