4 reasons the Buffalo Bills will return to being a Top 5 defense
Health (and depth) at Linebackers
Sean McDermott’s defense puts a lot of responsibilities on the linebacker position due to the fact that they play a lot of nickel defense so the team typically only has two linebackers on the field for most of the game.
While in Carolina, McDermott had a great group of linebackers that included Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, and Shaq Thompson. While his group in Buffalo may not be on the same level as Kuechly or Davis (yet) the duo of Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano is very good.
However, one thing the Buffalo Bills found out early is that when they are not on the field, this is a very different defense. In Week 1 last year, the Bills saw Milano and Edmunds both leave with injuries and then miss Week 2. They were able to return in Week 3 but neither really got fully healthy until later in the season.
While it is almost impossible to predict if Edmunds and Milano will remain healthy all season, this year the Buffalo Bills appear to much better equipped to handle any absence. The team still has A.J. Klein, who got better as the season went on but also added Tyrell Adams. The former Houston Texans linebacker played very well in place of the injured Bernadrick McKinney and he has the ability to play for an extended period if the need were to arise.
The linebacker position is a key part of this defense and if Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano can stay healthy all year, this will help the Buffalo Bills return to the Top 5. However, if they don’t they have the depth this year to address those absences.