Buffalo Bills 2021 Season Preview: Bills eyeing payback against Kansas City

The Buffalo Bills are on the doorsteps of greatness, and their 2021 season preview reads like a love letter to a franchise reborn in the past few seasons. Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott have rebuilt this franchise, and Brian Daboll and Co. have made an incredibly raw Josh Allen into one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

Buffalo Bills 2021 season preview

The Bills face the Chiefs and the Buccaneers, but the rest of their schedule appears lenient compared to other good teams, sans the Browns, who have one of the easiest schedules in the NFL. The Titans and Colts could also put up a fight, but there are far more “easy” games than difficult ones.

The Bills get to play the Jets twice. Although the Jets are probably a team on the rise, they’re not ready to compete against the Bills in the division. Buffalo also faces the Jaguars, Texans, and Falcons.

Offseason additions and losses

The Bills didn’t shift too many pieces around in the offseason, but they re-signed some key contributors and brought in a few important free agents.

The Bills signed Mitchell Trubisky to back up Josh Allen. It’s a fine pickup, considering their previous option wasn’t necessarily a style fit behind Allen. To protect their franchise QB, the Bills extended Daryl Williams and brought back Jon Feliciano. They also signed Bobby Hart. He won’t and shouldn’t compete for a starting spot, but he has experience as a starter, which is crucial for a backup tackle.

The big pieces defensively they kept around came in the form of a Matt Milano extension and a one-year deal with Levi Wallace. Milano is an integral piece of Buffalo’s defense besides the young Tremaine Edmunds, and Wallace is the Bills’ only option opposite star cornerback Tre’Davious White.

Additionally, Buffalo acquired Emmanuel Sanders to the team as their third receiver, which brings them to four legitimate outside receiving weapons. Sanders may be closing in on his mid-30s, but he still has the juice to get open often.

2021 NFL Draft

The Buffalo Bills doubled down on pass rush in the first two rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft. They took a home run derby-caliber swing on Gregory Rousseau in Round 1. The massive defensive end did a ton of work from the interior at Miami. Then, he didn’t test well at the NFL Combine. However, he did produce at an unbelievable clip during the 2019 college season.

Carlos “Boogie” Basham was their next selection. He’s an athletic and well-built pass rusher, but he doesn’t always play with the power you’d expect from a player his size. Despite that, he brings explosion off the snap and on subsequent steps, which allows him to threaten the arc. That’s something the team doesn’t have in any of their other young pass rushers.

They again doubled down on tall, athletic offensive tackles with their next two picks. Northern Iowa’s Spencer Brown was the first up. It wouldn’t have been surprising to see him go 60 picks earlier, so getting him in Round 3 was good value. Tommy Doyle went next. The 6-foot-8, 320-pound tackle has a 9.9 Relative Athletic Score.

Marquez Stevenson is endlessly quick, but he’ll struggle to find a spot in a WR corps that already possesses outrageous depth. Damar Hamlin was one of the more underrated safety prospects in the draft class. The Rachad Wildgoose selection was a bit of a head-scratcher. His overall profile didn’t appear draftable, but Beane and Co. have earned our optimism. Their next pick, Jack Anderson of Texas Tech, is an example of good scouting. He’ll provide nice depth on the offensive interior.

Where do Buffalo players rank in PFN’s Top 100?

The Bills only have three players in PFN’s Top 100 NFL Players, but they all land within the top 40.

38) Tre’Davious White

White has been one of the best cornerbacks in the game since he first stepped foot on an NFL field in 2017. He’s made either first or second-team All-Pro in consecutive seasons. White teeters on the border of aggressive and reckless and does so with outstanding balance.

22) Stefon Diggs

Boy, did Diggs step out of Adam Thielen’s shadow in a big way last year? Despite being the apparent WR2 in Minnesota, we all felt he was the more naturally gifted receiver. He proved that in a big way in 2020, helping his young quarterback improve from below-average passer to MVP candidate.

9) Josh Allen

His MVP candidacy was well-deserved. Allen’s ascension is quickly becoming a rallying cry for other young QBs attempting to take a big leap forward. However, Allen should be the exception to the rule. His arm rivals Uncle Rico’s, and he possesses great athletic ability for his massive frame. He was a consistently inaccurate player before last season but somehow improved that drastically in a short time. His production in 2021 heavily influences the Bills’ season preview.

Bills 2021 prediction

Sean McDermott is one of the most well-respected coaches in the NFL. He’s 38-26 in his four seasons as the Bills head coach. Now, Buffalo has a roster primed to compete with the Chiefs in the AFC.

Brian Daboll is one of the hottest names in the NFL. The long-time offensive mind has cultivated an offense that works incredibly well with Allen’s strengths. He’ll be a candidate to take over a team with a young quarterback they’re looking to develop.

Leslie Frazier enters his fifth season as the Bills defensive coordinator. Buffalo’s defense has been in the top 10 in efficiency every season since 2018.

Offense

The Bills’ offense should continue to improve as Allen becomes even more comfortable with his ability to process information. As that continues to quicken, his confidence will too. With improved accuracy and his running ability, this offense should continue to push top-five status.

Defense

The Buffalo Bills’ defense has been outstanding the past few seasons and previews well again. With talent at all three levels of the defense and two great veteran safeties, this team should continue to be consistent in 2021.

2021 Bills record prediction

This is high expectations, but this team has an excellent shot to play in the Super Bowl this season. They’ll finish as the second-best team in the AFC but will take it to Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game after finishing the season 14-3.

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