Last season surely exceeded expectations amongst Buffalo Bills fans, but there’s no reason the new campaign shouldn’t be just as successful.
After securing the first AFC East title since 1995, the Bills secured solid wins against the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs. Only the Kansas City Chiefs stopped their surge towards Super Bowl LV in an exciting 38-24 defeat. Whilst it could be viewed as a disappointment not to make the season showcase, there are plenty of reasons why Bills fans should be excited.
Firstly, there’s been good injury news over the last couple of weeks. Buffalo Rumblings reveals that seven players look set to return from injury following the return to public practice. Three, Taron Johnson, Dane Jackson, and Isaiah McKenzie, were wearing red non-contact jerseys, whilst another four were all back on the grass. Levi Wallace, Harrison Phillips, Tommy Sweeney, and Spencer Brown were all back in the lineup and ready to push the team one step further than last season.
Much of the roster has been kept from last season, with star quarterback Josh Allen even signing a new multi-year deal worth $258m. Allen is an emerging star who finds himself coming off a breakthrough season with the Bills. He set numerous franchise scoring and passing records as Brandon Beane’s team made their deepest playoff run in 27 years. With Allen amongst the 53-man roster for the 2021 season, there’s every chance they could go one further this season.
Who stands in their way? The obvious rivals in the AFC East are the New England Patriots, who won the AFC East 11 seasons in a row before the last campaign. They’ve won it 22 times since 1978, with three Super Bowl victories in the previous seven seasons. Their recent record makes them the most successful franchise in Super Bowl history, as demonstrated by a Bwin infographic, but the Bills should be able to hold off their challenge. The Miami Dolphins and New York Jets are still some way behind the other two – although Miami did go 10-6 last season and will be hoping to build on that.
What are the Bills strengths going into the new season? When assessing their key areas, the passing game is the first place you go, with Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, Emmanuel Sanders, and Gabriel Davis as strong as it gets anywhere in the NFL. Injuries to key players perhaps derailed their attempt to reach Super Bowl LV last season, but keeping those players fit will surely see them as a real force, not just in the AFC East but beyond into the playoffs.
One area fans have been concerned about is the cornerback depth. That isn’t a view shared by Beane or Sean McDermott. They believe in their depth on the roster, with Levi Wallace the expected first-choice and Dane Jackson his backup. Even Siran Neal could be trusted in an emergency, but fans won’t expect to see that much of the Alabama native if the team stays clear of injuries.
This is an exciting time to be a Bills fan, and if the team stays clear of those injuries, then it could well be a successful season. What is success for Bills fans? Is another deep run into the playoffs enough, or will a first Super Bowl appearance since 1993 be the only achievement regarded as real success?
Top Photo Credit: Benzinga.com