3 bold predictions for Buffalo Bills defense under DC Bobby Babich

This defense could be fun to watch under a new leader!
New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills
New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills / Brett Carlsen/GettyImages

For the first time since 2017, the Buffalo Bills defense will not be called by Sean McDermott or Leslie Frazier. Since the new coaching regime going back to 2017, the Bills have had one of the best defensive units in the league and part of the reason is from play calling. Frazier was in Buffalo from 2017-2022 and stepped away from the organization which made McDermott call the plays. Having served as a former defensive coordinator himself with the Carolina Panthers, McDermott did a fantastic job last year considering all of the injuries the defense had.

Heading into this season, former linebackers coach Bobby Babich will be the team’s new defensive coordinator and it was the best decision the Bills could have made this offseason. Babich has been with the organization since 2017 and has worked his way up to where he is now. The last two seasons, Babich has spent time as the linebackers coach where he was able to help develop a room that is arguably the strongest unit on this defense. There is a lot to look forward to with Babich calling the plays, despite the major changes that were made.

Here are three bold predictions for the Bills defense under Babich

1.) Terrel Bernard earns First-Team All-Pro player honors

If there was one Bills player that popped into a rising star last season, it was linebacker Terrel Bernard. He had big shoes to fill with the departure of Tremaine Edmunds heading to Chicago last offseason and Bernard showed us all that he was up for the challenge. Bernard was all over the place with 143 total tackles, 6.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 3 fumble recoveries. The fact that Bernard had better stats last season than Matt Milano had in 2022 where he earned First-Team All-Pro honors.

Now that Milano is back from his injury he suffered last season, Bills fans will get the chance to see this dynamic duo on the field for more than five games (hopefully). Bernard shined last year and there is hope to believe that he will only get better. In Babich’s first year calling the defensive plays, Bernard has the chance to not only elevate his game but also become a top ten linebacker himself in 2024.

2.) Bills pass defense ranked in top ten of league

One unit in the Buffalo defense that went under a lot of change this offseason was the secondary. Micah Hyde is contemplating retirement (with a possibility of returning to the Bills), Jordan Poyer is down south with the Miami Dolphins, and Tre’Davious White is out on the west coast with the Los Angeles Rams. This secondary now has Taylor Rapp, Mike Edwards and Cole Bishop out in center field. On the outside, Rasul Douglas is the number one corner and there will be competition between Kaiir Elam and Christian Benford for the CB2 spot. Taron Johnson is returning at the nickel spot, earning himself a three-year extension with the Bills this past free agency period.

Buffalo has always had one of the stronger secondaries since McDermott took over. Being a defensive back himself in college at William & Mary, he knows a thing or two about defending the pass. In addition, Babich joined the Bills organization by coaching the secondary himself. It is hard to believe that while there were big changes this offseason, the Bills won’t have a top ten pass defense in 2024.

3.) 3 players finish with 10+ sacks

Last season was the first time in awhile where it looked like the Bills had a consistent pass rush. Leonard Floyd led the Bills in sacks with 10.5 but is no longer with the team after signing a two-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers. However, players like Ed Oliver and A.J. Epenesa all had breakout seasons last year that included them helping the Bills create a pass rush on the line. Epenesa re-signed with the Bills on a two-year deal and Oliver showed us all what he can do even without the presence of DaQuan Jones on the line. 

Buffalo’s defense showed aggressiveness last year. Before last season, there were concerns about the defense not playing with physicality. That all changed last year and it helped Buffalo overwhelm many opponents.

Under Babich’s control, there is a good chance that there will be atleast three players who are close to the 10-sack group, if not more. With the continuity and scheme the Bills have, this unit should produce yet another year of excitement for Bills fans.