Cause for concern - PFF ranks Buffalo Bills offensive line

PFF clearly does not think very highly of the Buffalo Bills' offensive line. The crazy thing is though, I can see their point of view and I'm not far off from agreeing.

Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills / Bryan M. Bennett/GettyImages

A lot has been made this off-season about the Buffalo Bills' offensive line and you might say this is the weakest area of the team, on both sides of the ball. PFF ranked the Bills' line 22nd in the league. Within the AFC East, only the New Jersey Jets were ranked lower, coming in just behind Buffalo at 23.

This unit vastly underperformed last season, so it comes as no surprise that PFF ranked them so low and regardless of if you or I agree, the bottom line is the offensive line must perform better in 2023. Even left tackle Dion Dawkins struggled at times throughout the season.

"Left tackle Dion Dawkins was comfortably the best player on this line in 2022. He allowed 30 total pressures, including three sacks."

Pro Football Focus

PFF also included what they believe the starting five will be entering the 2023 season; however, I am not fully sold on their projection here, as I believe O'Cyrus Torrence will earn a starting job over Ryan Bates.

PFF's Buffalo Bills Projected Starting Line

LT Dion Dawkins
LG Connor McGovern
C Mitch Morse
RG Ryan Bates
RT Spencer Brown

"Buffalo made some additions to this unit but maintained its approach of relatively modest investments and striving for an overall average set of results.

Rookie O’Cyrus Torrence isn’t currently slated to start but could push to take over at guard without too much trouble in Year 1."

Pro Football Focus

Here is where I stand with the Bills' offensive line. There were two things that completely derailed the team's line, that being the early season injury to Spencer Brown and the extremely poor performance from Roger Saffold.

First of all, Brown suffered a back injury towards the end of the 2022 season, requiring off-season surgery. The procedure forced him to miss most of the Bills' off-season programs and slowed his development and ability to be 100 percent heading into the season. On top of that, he suffered an ankle injury in Week Six, resulting in missed games and hindering him the rest of the season.

The second issue was the lackluster performance of Roger Saffold. He was not just bad but downright terrible. PFF graded gave him a pass-blocking grade of 51.0 and an overall grade of 43.7. Saffold also committed ten penalties, the sixth most in the league.

When you have two guys on your line struggling as much as these two were, it makes it very difficult on the rest of the line as well. I do think the line plays at a much higher level in 2023 but until they do, it would be very difficult to argue ranking them higher than PFF's 22nd rank.

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