June 4th, 2020 - By Brandon Barbour
In just the second season with quarterback Josh Allen and the third season with head coach Sean McDermott, the Buffalo Bills went 10-6 and marched into the postseason in 2019. Ultimately, they would lose the Wild Card game in overtime to the Houston Texans. The Bills were even good going up against legit NFL spreads, as they finished the season 9-6-2 against the line covering 60% of games. This surprisingly made the Bills on of the top NFL picks against the spread for last year’s campaign.
As you already know, Tom Brady is out of New England, opening the door for Buffalo to take control of the AFC East. The Bills had a quiet offseason and return with a very similar starting group on defense. This is great news, especially when you consider they allowed the third-fewest yards per contest in 2019 (298.3) and the second-fewest points per game (16.2).
They also return with the similar offense, but with some additions to take note of. They spent a third-round pick on running back Zack Moss to compliment Devin Singletary. Moss will take over the Frank Gore role as an in between the tackle and goal line runner. At 5’9”, 223 pounds, he’s a bruiser.
The key addition was sending off their first-round selection (and many other picks) to the Minnesota Vikings for Stefon Diggs’ services. The 26-year-old has two-consecutive 1,000 receiving yard seasons, including 18 touchdowns over his last 33 games. He immediately slots in as Buffalo’s top wide out ahead of John Brown and Cole Beasley. This is a major acquisition when you consider that the Bills accumulated the worst drop rate in football last season at a whopping 7.0 percent.
The help is here for Josh Allen. The big quarterback improved his completion rate by 6.0 percent in his sophomore season and reduced his interception rate from 3.8 percent to 2.0 percent. He even put together four fourth quarter comebacks and five game winning drives. If you think Diggs won’t take Allen to new heights, then think again. Diggs posted the 10th-best DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement) among wide outs last season, including the seventh-best DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average).
The Bills are tied for the fifth-toughest schedule in the NFL this season. Luckily for them, the Patriots have the most difficult schedule based off of 2019 opponents’ win percentage. Buffalo lost both meetings with New England last season, so they’ll need to improve against Bill Belichick in 2020 in order to vie for the division.
The Bills are coming, but have they arrived? Signs are pointing towards yes, but the offense will have to prove that they’ve grown. The 2020 NFL season is looking bright in Buffalo. It feels like their time to take a leap and continue heading in the right direction. Expect to see the Bills back in the playoffs.