There may have been no bigger cheer than from western New York when Tom Brady decided to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency, ending a twenty year stranglehold on the AFC East division. In fact, since 2001, only twice have the Patriots not won the division, and neither of those times have been the Bills. With Brady out of the picture, you can understand the excitement that is running through the Bills Mafia as we head into the 2020 NFL season.
Much of the chatter that has surrounded the Bills in the offseason is whether or not quarterback Josh Allen can get the job done. The offense has been catered to his specific skill set, targets who are quick with good hands in traffic. The addition of a legitimate number one receiver in Stefon Diggs, adds a deep threat that adds another layer to this system.
Diggs joins Cole Beasley and John Brown in what has become a sneaky deep receiver core for Allen to throw to. Throw in sure-handed, but still raw, tight end Dawson Knox and the Bills have provided Josh Allen plenty of stable targets for a quarterback known to struggle with his accuracy.
The run game is always a strong point for Buffalo and the two-headed running back monster of second-year Devin Singletary and standout rookie out of Utah, Zack Moss, should give the Bills a lethal one-two punch. Both backs are efficient with touches and capable of creating big plays after the catch. Singletary should start as the lead back but do not be surprised if Moss has a significant role to start the year.
The defensive unit is one of the best in the NFL led by a strong secondary unit anchored by safety duo Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. Cornerbacks Tre’Davious White, Levi Wallace and free agent acquisition Josh Norman lead the way on the outside. Perhaps, the young linebacker duo of Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano gives Bills fans a belief that they arguably have the brightest future among the entire defense.
Look for Ed Oliver, as he begins his second year to lead the big guys up front. The Bills were already a stingy team finishing third in the league in yards allowed and second in the league in points allowed in 2019. With Brady out of the division, and the Jets and Dolphins still in rebuild mode, the Bills could clean up within their division this year.
Looking ahead, the Bills’ schedule is favorable, especially at the start of the year. They kick things off with two winnable games against the Jets and Dolphins. This is followed by arguably three winnable games against the Rams, Raiders, and Titans, before the Bills host the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs.
The second half of the season is not as friendly to the Bills as they face the Seahawks, Cardinals, Chargers, 49ers, Steelers, Broncos, and Patriots to wrap up the year. Buffalo has two sets of back to back road games, but also have a stretch of four weeks from October 15 to November 15 where they don’t leave the New York/New Jersey area. If the Bills can get off to a quick start, they should be able to fend off the Patriots who have a much more difficult schedule.
So the writing is on the wall and the AFC East division is up for grabs. The Patriots should be able to challenge the Bills to an extent, but a difficult schedule and a new quarterback in Cam Newton all pose challenges to New England.
Josh Allen has been surrounded by talent that should help him succeed, it is up to him to be able to take advantage of them. The Bills will go as their quarterback does. If he is able to improve on his accuracy over last season and use his new weapons, the defense should be able to hold their end of the bargain, and for only the third time since 2000, a non-Patriots team should win the AFC East.