For the first time in 25 years the Buffalo Bills will be rolling into a season as the big dogs of the AFC East, as Tom Brady’s exodus to Tampa Bay, coupled with the apparent leveling of the New England Patriots dynasty has spawned extreme optimism in Orchard Park, New York.
The Bills haven’t won the AFC East since 1995, when their roster was loaded with Hall of Famers the likes of Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, Cornelius Bennett, head coach Marc Levy, and GM Bill Polian. (Their 25-year streak of division futility is the 3rd longest active streak in the NFL behind Detroit and Cleveland).
Two and a half decades later the names might be a bit less familiar, but the Bills Mafia could be in for their best season of the millennium.
The Bills have made the playoffs in 2 of the last 3 seasons, and going playoff-less the previous 17, and their 10 wins last season were the most from a Buffalo team since 1999.
Third-year starter Josh Allen may not have the passing skills of his 2017 NFL Draft brethren the likes of Lamar Jackson, Sam Darnold, or Baker Mayfield, as Allen averaged just 193.1 passing yards per game last year, and threw only 20 touchdowns in 16 starts, but his career win/loss of 15-12 easily beats Mayfield’s 12-17 and Darnold’s 11-15.
No other quarterback in the NFL, including Lamar, has put up more rushing touchdowns than Allen has the last two seasons (17).
Buffalo’s most notable offseason acquisitions included wide receiver Stefon Diggs from the Vikings, cornerback Josh Norman from the Redskins, offensive tackle Daryl Williams from the Panthers, guard Brian Winters from the Jets, defensive end Mario Addison from Carolina, defensive end Quinton Jefferson from Seattle, and lineback A.J. Klein from New Orleans.
The Bills did not have a first round pick because of the Diggs trade with Minnesota, but did take Iowa DE A.J.Epenesa in the second round.
The Bills key losses included Frank Gore, Shaq Lawson, Jordan Phillips, Lorenzo Alexander, and Kevin Johnson.
Their OVER/UNDER in wins is 8.5, their odds to win the Super Bowl are 28/1, 12/1 to win the AFC, 6/5 to win the AFC East, and -178 to make the playoffs.
Check out the entire segment above.