The Buffalo Bills are in what is essentially a Super Bowl or bust year. After a disappointing finish in the Divisional Round against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Bills are still viewed as Super Bowl favorites.
To take that next step, the Buffalo Bills will have to receive substantial contributions from some players who are not considered star players or starters for the Bills.
Which players must the Buffalo Bills rely on more in 2022 to help them win a Super Bowl?
One of the best slot receivers in the NFL, Cole Beasley, left the Bills this offseason after seeking a trade which eventually led to his release. Even though Beasley was getting older, his ability to get open in the slot and be a reliable target for Josh Allen was critical to the Buffalo Bills’ success.
Emmanual Sanders also was not re-signed, leaving two spots open in the receiving room. The Bills signed Jamison Crowder to help fill the void that Beasley and Sanders will leave. Although Crowder is a proven vet, an in-house option could be more critical to the Bills’ success than Crowder.
Isaiah McKenzie may not have the precise route running or receiving track record that Jamison Crowder has, but McKenzie has proved that he can make big plays for the Buffalo Bills. In his Bills career McKenzie has 1,064 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns.
McKenzie brings elite speed that could help the Bills in an area they struggled most last season. Buffalo ranked 20th in the NFL in yards after the catch. Although a player like Beasley was valuable for Buffalo, he did not offer after-the-catch playmaking skills. A player like McKenzie could give the Bills the type of dynamic playmaker they are looking for.
With increased opportunities, the Bills’ offense could get even more creative with a player like Isaiah McKenzie. Instead of using McKenzie on gadget plays and in garbage time, I think the Bills will rely on him significantly to help fill the void that Beasley and Sanders leave. I may not be the only one who believes in McKenzie as Brandon Beane signed him to a two-year deal worth $4.4 million.