It was recently announced that Pro Football Focus gave the Buffalo Bills highest preseason grade. It’s only been two weeks, but this grade means more than it says.
There’s 32 teams in this league and they’ve all completed two weeks of preseason action. After those two weeks, which team has stood out the most? Could it possibly be the Buffalo Bills, despite all the recent distractions and injuries?
According to a tweet put out by Pro Football Focus, famous for making top-notch grades across sports, they have the Bills sitting with the highest preseason grade up to this point. The two teams that followed were the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots.
For Buffalo fans, this should bring excitement considering all of the distractions that have surfaced since training camp began.
The grade is definitely well deserved, too. After two games, the Bills sit at 1-1 and could be undefeated if they had converted a two-point conversion with no time left in their opener vs. the Indianapolis Colts.
In that first game, which featured backups for a high majority of it, their defense stood out as one of the top defenses in the league. They not only held the Colts’ rushers to 1.3 yards per carry, but also scared Andrew Luck out of playing and had 8 passes defended in the loss. Three Colts’ running backs finished the game with more carries than actual yards. Not bad for a team that was unsure of how their depth looked.
Their second game — vs. the New York Giants — was an even better outing that saw their starters get a little more playing time. Their pass defense was top-notch in this one, which ended in a 21-0 shutout. The Giants ended up using three of their quarterbacks, Eli being one of them, and they finished just 8-of-25 with only 65 yards. In addition, the Bills recorded two interceptions, three sacks, 7 passes defended, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. If they can continue that play, it would take a lot of pressure off an offense that is full of it.
So, why does this mean so much? I mean, it’s only preseason right?
That is very true, but records show that PFF has great observational skills and a great grading system that has produced results in recent years. Let’s take a look at the highest graded teams in the preseason throughout the past three years and how their season ended:
- In 2013, they graded the New Orleans Saints as the highest graded preseason team. They finished the season 11-5.
- In 2014, the Denver Broncos were honored as the highest graded team in the preseason. They went on to finish 12-4. They lost in the Super Bowl to the Seattle Seahawks.
- Last season, the Broncos again finished with the highest preseason grade and the results were the same, finishing 12-4. This time, though, they finished as Super Bowl Champions.
That’s right, the past three teams to walk away with the highest preseason grade — according to Pro Football Focus — have gone on to have an 11-5 or better record, in addition to reaching the playoffs, the Super Bowl twice and a Super Bowl victory. Doesn’t that sound like good company to a team that hasn’t played a playoff game in 16 years?
Certainly, if the Bills continue playing the way they have, they will have a very high chance of making the playoffs and be destined to make a playoff run that has been long-awaited. Then again, maybe PFF doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
For Bills’ fans, we’ll stick with the hope of an 11-5 or better season. We certainly have the talent.
With two weeks left, the Bills are scheduled to play the Washington Redskins on Friday, August 26th and the Detroit Lions on Thursday, September 1st. Stay tuned for more Bills’ action.
What do you make of PFF’s recent preseason grade on the Bills? Leave your comments below!
Buffalo Bills Highest Preseason Grade