Buffalo Bills path to an AFC East Division Title: Part 1
By Rob Spehar
This is Part 1 of our three part series looking at the path the Buffalo Bills have taken from division cellar to potential AFC East title in 2020.
Free agency frenzy is long gone for the Buffalo Bills, the NFL Combine is a distant memory, all the mock drafts that you can put together is finally over. The first ever 2020 NFL Virtual Draft has come and gone. With great success I must say.
It was great to sit down, block out all some of the stuff around us and focus on what we football fans have been clamoring for. Something fresh in the world of sports! I can finally focus on the beloved Buffalo Bills’ upcoming season and tell you how they have gotten better in just a few mere months. Where will that take them? To a land they have not visited since the 1995 season called Division Champions!
Now I know that I’m not a fortune teller, but the way the domino’s have fallen for the Buffalo Bills this offseason, I can’t shake the feeling that they will be the next AFC East champs and for years to come. I have my reasons. In my three part series, I will tell you why I feel that is in fact true.
Free agency and the draft is now in the rear view mirror and the party has continued in Western New York since March. The number one reason? Tom Brady. He is now out of the AFC East and has joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. By now, that is old news unless you were under some serious quarantine restrictions. Like seasons, things are changing and the division is ready to be owned by a new champion. When you look at each team in the division, all signs are pointing to the Buffalo Bills taking that crown.
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I shouldn’t even have to tell you that it all starts at the top with Brandon Beane. The dude is a no nonsense GM who is hell bent on winning and proving to the rest of the league that the Bills and their fans have a great franchise and winning culture in the locker room. Along with head coach Sean McDermott, these two guys have instilled something in this team and city that I have not seen in such a long time. Hope. In his three seasons as head coach, McDermott has brought the Bills to the playoffs in two out of those three. Look, obviously something is working and the two headed monster is preaching something that these guys are falling in line with and all the while, they have been putting together a team full of talent.
You can now look at their draft haul where they addressed key positions. Basically stealing A.J. Epenesa with their second round pick and picking up a dynamic running back in Zack Moss to be a perfect compliment to Devin Singletary and another toy for Brian Daboll to play with. I like the Jake Fromm pick as well. He will probably be nothing more than a journeyman back up QB, but it must have lit a small fire under Josh Allen to get his act together and fix those problems that have plagued him since entering the league. The leadership put in place has continued to add more talent to an already impressive roster.
Speaking of talent. Where do you even begin when you look at this roster? They were already stacked before the draft took place! There are some good veterans and great, and I mean great, young guys that will be around for years to come. Starting with Josh Allen. Many experts say that the Buffalo Bills will go as far as he can take them, and I agree. The Bills brass view him as the franchise QB that has been missing for years and he has some tremendous upside.
However, he still has some kinks to work out as well. His accuracy and decision making that we all hoped would have been solved by his second year are key factors in his game that must be improved upon. Now before fans start rolling their eyes, they have to agree that his deep throws need a little tweaking with just a little more arc and finesse to them.
He now has Stefon Diggs who can stretch the field and run killer routes. Diggs and John Brown are a great tandem. No excuses there. His performance in the Wild Card game against Houston showed a ton of promise as the Bills franchise QB, but there were some decisions that Allen made in that game that had me scratching my head. Lateral to nobody ring a bell? But I digress. That is in the past, the new league year has started and a new season will be upon us soon. If he can clean up those things and when you mix in his rushing and leadership ability, this guy will be an elite QB.
The two headed monster in Beane and McDermott know what they are doing and have brought respect back to Western New York. When other teams come to New Era Field, they want them to be scared of who they are facing. They are doing a damn good job of that.
Stay tuned for the second part of my series where I talk about the offensive pieces that Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott put in place for Josh Allen to succeed.