Buffalo Bills: 3 reasons why offensive line will be “X” factor in 2023

New York Jets v Buffalo Bills
New York Jets v Buffalo Bills / Timothy T Ludwig/GettyImages
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Through a slow build up of the roster and the culture under Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane, the Buffalo Bills have solidified themselves as one of the top teams in the NFL. This duo has turned around the franchise in Buffalo for the better and there does not seem to be any reason to believe that their super bowl window is closing anytime soon.

They have brought in a star quarterback and paired him with a star wide receiver, as well as continued to implement a defensive minded approach where the defense has remained as a top five-to-ten unit since McDermott’s arrival. 

One area that has been a weakness for the Bills has been their offensive line. When McDermott took over the Bills, he had notable players up front in the trenches like Eric Wood, Richie Incognito and Cordy Glenn. When these guys were in Buffalo, the offensive line mauled opponents in the run game and were able to hold their blocks to not allow pressure against the pass rush.

After the 2017 season, Glenn was traded to Cincinnati for draft picks that eventually helped land Allen, Incognito forced his way out of Buffalo before signing with the Oakland Raiders, and Wood was forced to retire due to a neck injury. Since then, the Bills have struggled to provide consistent protection for Allen. 

In 2022, Allen scrambled 57 times on plays that were designed pass plays and was hit 40 times on pass plays. He was also sacked 33 times last season, the second most in a season in his career (38 in 2019). In order for play to go smoothly, Allen needs time in the pocket to scan the field and figure out which direction he wants to go. 

The Bills addressed the offensive line in both free agency and the draft. Offensive guard Connor McGovern (previously on the Dallas Cowboys) signed a three-year deal with the Bills, along with offensive tackle Brandon Shell who was with the Miami Dolphins last season. In the draft, the Bills drafted guard O’Cyrus Torrence in the second round and guard Nick Broeker in the seventh round. 

With all of the moves the Bills have made this offseason, here are three reasons why the Bills offensive line will allow the offense to go as far as they want.