by Neel Cheruvu
The 100th season of the NFL has commenced, and that means the start of a new season for the Buffalo Bills. This season brings high expectations and optimism after a busy offseason in both free agency and the draft.
After a disappointing 2018 year that saw the Bills finish 6-10, general manager Brandon Beane made it a mission to fill all the deficiencies on the team. Offensively, this prompted the signings of Cole Beasley and John Brown to bolster the receiving corps. Along with these moves, Beane revamped the offensive line by signing veterans Mitch Morse and Ty Nsekhe, as well as drafting Cody Ford. The Bills’ offense figures to be much improved after these additions, but they can only go as far as Josh Allen will take them. A successfully-run offense rests on the shoulders of Josh Allen and how much of a jump he makes from Year 1 to Year 2. Allen had a rollercoaster rookie season, as he displayed his underrated running ability and cannon arm, as well as his accuracy issues and poor decision making. He is the cog for this offensive unit, and if he improves his decision making, this offense will surprise a lot of people.
The defense is a much different story than the offense. While the offense has a new starter at almost every position, the defense returns all key players except Kyle Williams. In order to fill this gap left by the all-time Buffalo Bill great, the Bills drafted DT Ed Oliver out of Houston. Oliver is a tenacious defensive player that will slide right into Williams’ old spot and fit smoothly in the defense. This defense finished #2 in the league last year, so it is encouraging to see all the familiar faces come back, all a year more strong and mature. On the defensive line, Jerry Hughes, the aforementioned Oliver, Star Lotulelei, and Shaq Lawson are expected to pressure every QB they go up against. Second-year phenom Tremaine Edmunds is back as the MLB of this defense and he has veteran Lorenzo Alexander to guide him along the way. Perhaps the strongest part of the defense are the defensive backs, as Jordan Poyer, Micah Hyde, Tre’Davious White, and Levi Wallace make up arguably the best group of defensive backs in the entire league. The defense is expected to be stout as usual and has far less question marks than the offense.
The 2019-2020 Buffalo Bills season is upon us and I know all fans cannot wait to see what is to come. Playoffs are certainly achievable, but everyone on the team is going to have to contribute if they want to accomplish. Coach Sean McDermott is in his third season, and this is typically when coaches see their teams make the biggest jump. After qualifying for the playoffs and breaking the drought just a couple years back, Bills fans are excited to see what Josh Allen and this Bills team can do. There is certainly cause for excitement and optimism and we may see the team playing meaningful games into December and January. Let’s go, Buffalo!