Written by Bobby Greco
The year was 1995, Bill Clinton was President and the most popular movie and song of the year was Toy Story (the 1st one) and Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio. This is the last time The Buffalo Bills won the AFC East division title and the beginning of the end of one of the dominant teams of the 1990s. After nearly two decades of despair and disappointment, the Buffalo Bills are predicted to be the AFC East champs again, and did I mention it is for the first time this century… Well, that should end this season, as the Bills are set up for a big season and hopefully, it will culminate in the AFC East crown.
After taking a big leap forward last year, Buffalo’s offense is primed to be even better this year. The addition of Stefon Diggs gives Josh Allen another weapon and one of the most productive receivers in the NFL. This will not only make Allen better, but it will also get more open opportunities for John Brown and Cole Beasley. On top of that, the Bills had a very successful draft and added three talented rookies to the unit in Zack Moss, Gabe Davis, and Isaiah Hodgins. Moss was last season’s PAC12 Player of the Year while rushing for 1,416 yards and 15tds, he is a very comparable player to Marshawn Lynch. Davis and Hodgins are both coming off of 1,000-yard seasons with double-digit TDs and they also give Buffalo two big targets that are great at high pointing the ball. Another big reason Buffalo’s offense is poised for success is that they returned all five starters across the O-Line. Unfortunately, Jon Feliciano will miss the season, but the Bills replaced him with veteran Brian Winters. With all that being said, this is a very big year for Josh Allen, because he’s got all the weapons needed to make a run and so he will need to prove he can be the guy to lead the franchise back to glory. I personally have a lot of faith in Josh and think he will take the next step of success, he just seems like he gets what it takes to be great.
Buffalo was a top 3 defense last season, which was a big piece in their second playoff appearance in three years and I think they are even better this year. The weakest part of last season's defense was their pass rush, as they only had 44 sacks. I think that number will go up this year because the Bills made some very underrated signings this off-season in Mario Addison, Quinton Jefferson, and Vernon Butler. They did lose Shaq Lawson to free agency and Star Lotulelei opted out of the season due to COVID concerns, but I really think they made up for those losses. We also can't forget the drafting of AJ Epenesa in the second round and a guy Buffalo couldn’t believe was still there for the taking, since he was considered one of the best pass rushers coming out of college. Buffalo also added veterans AJ Klein and Josh Norman, neither are marquee signings, yet both can make huge impacts. Klein should fill in the linebacker position left open by Lorenzo Alexander retiring and last time Josh Norman played for Sean McDermott’s defense, he was All-Pro. If Norman plays half as good as that season, he would make what I consider the best secondary in the league even scarier. As long as the young guns of the defense keep progressing(White, Edmunds, Oliver), watch out NFL.
In what was a major surprise move, Buffalo released veteran kicker Stephen Hauschka and went with rookie 6th round pick Tyler Bass. Bass was one of college football’s prolific kickers during his career, playing for Georgia Southern. He has a powerful leg and that is something Hauschka struggled with last year, so bass could really rejuvenate Buffalo’s kicking game.
Overall I think Buffalo can contend for the AFC Championship, as long as everyone stays healthy and keeps focus in an uncertain year. I legitimately feel this Bills team is poised for a 12 win season and the first home playoff since 1995.