2022 Buffalo Bills Roster Prediction

The preseason has begun which means it is time for my final Buffalo Bills roster prediction. Entering the 2022 season, the Bills have one of the best rosters in the NFL. While the starting roster is mostly set, the current Super Bowl favorites have some tough decisions to make on the fringes of the roster. Here is my prediction for the final 53-man roster when it is finalized on August 30th.

Matt Araiza Bills roster prediction
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QB

  1. Josh Allen
  2. Case Keenum

The easiest group of this Bills roster prediction. Matt Barkley will likely stick around on the practice squad.

RB

  1. Devin Singletary
  2. James Cook (R)
  3. Zack Moss
  4. Taiwan Jones
  5. Reggie Gilliam

I expect the three top backs (Devin Singletary, James Cook, Zack Moss) to all be active on game days and split work based on situation. Singletary will lead the way between the 20’s with Cook taking a heavy receiving workload and Moss powering through short yard work. Taiwan Jones is a special teams ace who won’t touch the field on offense. Reggie Gilliam should have his own category, but the gadget fullback just signed a well earned two-year extension this offseason and is here to stay.

WR

  1. Stefon Diggs
  2. Gabe Davis
  3. Isaiah McKenzie
  4. Khalil Shakir (R)
  5. Jamison Crowder
  6. Isaiah Hodgins

This room is so deep and hard to predict. Isaiah Hodgins has impressed throughout camp and showed out in the preseason game. I expect his youth and offensive potential to outshine Jake Kumerow’s special teams value. Jamison Crowder is firmly on the bubble but his experience out of the slot could help ease the transition of losing Cole Beasley.

TE

  1. Dawson Knox
  2. O.J. Howard
  3. Tommy Sweeney

OJ Howard excels as a blocker and may still have untapped potential in the receiving game. Sweeney is uninspiring but provides solid depth to the room.

OT

  1. Dion Dawkins
  2. Spencer Brown
  3. David Quessenberry
  4. Tommy Doyle

The biggest question at tackle will be who starts on the right side. Spencer Brown struggled down the stretch as a rookie and has been injured, giving Quessenberry a chance to take the job. Both should see time as the season progresses.

IOL

  1. Mitch Morse
  2. Roger Saffold
  3. Ryan Bates
  4. Cody Ford
  5. Greg Mancz

Barring injury, the starting interior is set. The team seems to have hope that new coach Aaron Kromer can get something out of Cody Ford. The final spot comes down to the “Battle of the Gregs” with Greg Mancz beating out Greg Van Roten. Ike Boettger can begin the season on the PUP as he rehabs his Achilles injury.

DT

  1. Ed Oliver
  2. Tim Settle
  3. DaQuan Jones
  4. Jordan Phillips

Ed Oliver is the only defensive tackle that remains from last year’s roster. Tim Settle, DaQuan Jones, and Jordan Phillips are all significant upgrades over the previous group.

EDGE

  1. Von Miller
  2. Greg Rousseau
  3. Boogie Basham
  4. A.J. Epenesa
  5. Shaq Lawson

Von Miller was a shocking signing as the Bills now have an elite, Hall of Fame pass rusher on the roster. The rest of the room is young and primed to take a leap forward under his leadership.

LB

  1. Tremaine Edmunds
  2. Matt Milano
  3. Terrel Bernard (R)
  4. Tyrel Dodson
  5. Tyler Matakevich
  6. Baylon Spector (R)

Two rookies crack this group, with Baylon Spector a surprise pick. His instincts are impressive for a rookie, let alone a seventh round pick. Andre Smith’s suspension opens the door for him to make the cut. Tyler Matakevich is another pure special teams player but one worth keeping around.

CB

  1. Taron Johnson
  2. Dane Jackson
  3. Christian Benford (R)
  4. Kaiir Elam (R)
  5. Siran Neal
  6. Cam Lewis

The Bills have always been cautious with injuries so I expect them to let Tre’Davious White recover on the PUP list. This would make Week 5 the earliest he could return to the lineup. In the meantime, Cam Lewis benefits by sticking with the main roster to start the season. Rookies Christian Benford and Kaiir Elam should both see plenty of playing time.

S

  1. Jordan Poyer
  2. Micah Hyde
  3. Jaquan Johnson
  4. Damar Hamlin

Poyer and the Bills have patched up any issues and the best safety duo in the league is together for at least one more season. Jaquan Johnson and Damar Hamlin are both versatile and capable reserves.

Specialists

Long Snapper: Reid Ferguson
Kicker: Tyler Bass
Punter: Matt Araiza (R)

Matt Araiza has already won the punt battle. The Bills should do the right thing and cut Matt Haack now so he can be signed to a new team. Araiza needs all the reps he can get to dial in his canon leg.

Buffalo can (and hopefully will) win a Super Bowl with this roster. Thank you for reading my 2022 Bills roster prediction. Stay tuned for more content coming this season. Go Bills!

Buffalo Bills Draft: Top 5 at 25

Buffalo currently owns the 25th pick in the NFL Draft this Thursday night. General manager Brandon Beane has an opportunity to add an impact player to an already loaded roster. With very few positions of need, many expect cornerback or even running back to be the pick. Keeping in mind some team tendencies, let’s take a look at the top five players I would expect to see the Buffalo Bills draft.

Buffalo Bills draft prospect Kyler Gordon
AP Photo / John Hefti

Kyler Gordon CB Washington

Kyler Gordon is an athletic freak at cornerback who posted a Relative Athletic Score of 9.69. His agility and explosiveness scores are particularly impressive. Washington has a long history of preparing quality defensive backs for the league, and Gordon is no exception. He has excellent zone coverage traits and is a strong, willing tackler against the run. For my money, I expect Gordon to be the pick at 25.

Daxton Hill DB Michigan

Daxton Hill is a versatile defensive back who I wouldn’t be surprised to see go in the mid-to-late teens. He played safety for Michigan, but could play any secondary position at a high level. His versatility would be a huge asset to the Bills, as he could fill the CB2 role in the short term and also become the long-term Jordan Poyer replacement if we are unable to agree on an extension. He is an exceptional athlete and would bring elite speed to the Bills secondary.

Zion Johnson IOL Boston College

Another player who should be gone before the Bills pick, Zion Johnson has experience all over the line and projects as a plus starter on the interior. Johnson could compete immediately with Ryan Bates and then be the long-term answer at left guard after Roger Saffold’s tenure ends. Johnson began his career at Davidson and has fought to earn every opportunity. This type of background is consistent throughout the Buffalo Bills draft history.

Breece Hall RB Iowa State

I believe that Beane would be willing to take a running back at 25 if he was the top player on their board. Breece Hall is a young and explosive back who brings an entirely new element to the current RB room. He has plus ability as a pass catcher and can turn a sliver of daylight into a home run. I am generally against round one running backs, but I do love the idea of what Hall would bring to this offense.

Andrew Booth Jr. CB Clemson

On tape, Andrew Booth looks to be a special athlete and excellent all-around corner. His ball skills and aggressive tackling are exciting traits. The issue with Booth is mainly injury related. He does not have a testing profile due to multiple core injuries that cast doubt on his draft position. If the Bills feel comfortable with the medicals, he would be a slam dunk at 25.

Wildcard: Jahan Dotson WR Penn State

Jahan Dotson is an electric play-maker at wide receiver and has been compared to Emmanuel Sanders. He lacks size, but has the best hands in the class and has a shockingly large catch radius. Dotson would be a dynamic slot option and a seamless fit in the offense. If the Bills want to continue surrounding Allen with receiving options, Dotson could be a surprise pick at 25.

Bills vs Buccaneers: Allen vs Brady – Week 14 Preview

Bills at Buccaneers
(Getty Images)

The outlook on the Buffalo Bills season has never been lower. After sleepwalking through the easy part of their schedule and taking some bad losses, they are 7-5. They are now 1.5 games behind New England in the AFC East title race with the rematch coming in a couple weeks. They now look to turn things around on a short week against a familiar opponent, Tom Brady. This Bills vs Buccaneers matchup has the makings of an instant classic with plenty on the line.

Playoff Race

Many of us hoped that we would be tracking scenarios for the AFC 1-seed but now the target is just getting to the playoffs. Despite feeling like the season is over, the Bills stand a good chance of getting to the postseason. The Bills current playoff odds sit around 78% according to the NY Times playoff odds calculator.

A 3-2 record through the final 5 games elevates those odds to 88%. Winning 4 games guarantees a playoff spot. The remaining opponents are: Buccaneers, Panthers, Patriots, Falcons, Jets. This week’s Bills vs Buccaneers game is not a must-win, but a win would remove a ton of pressure.

Tom Brady Effect

There is no denying that Tom Brady owns a large plot of real estate in the Buffalo Bills’ headspace. Brady is 32-3 against Buffalo, all games occurring during his 19-year Patriots tenure. He won the Super Bowl in 2020, his first year with Tampa Bay.

Brady is now playing MVP-level football in his second season with Bruce Arians. The players won’t admit it, but this game is more “Bills against Brady” than Bills vs Buccaneers.

How to Win on Offense

The Buccaneers have an elite run defense. It is not even worth testing. Vita Vea is among the best interior defenders in the league and avoiding him would be smart. Josh Allen should throw 40 or more passes to have an optimal game plan. The rest of the defensive line is excellent at generating pressure. They have a big advantage over the Bills offensive line even if Jon Feliciano is able to return.

Allen should look to distribute the ball quickly even if it means taking short gains. On the back end, the Buccaneers are looking healthy with Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting back in action. They will play a lot of 2-high defense which has given Allen trouble this season. Linebacker Lavonte David is excellent in coverage and Devin White is a nasty run defender.

Diggs may see a lot of bracketed coverage so I would like to see Allen distribute the ball around. Featuring Gabe Davis outside would give him a physical advantage over Murphy-Bunting and could be our best opportunity for downfield shots. Cole Beasley has a big opportunity as our best zone-beater underneath. He should get double-digit targets as a run game replacement.

I would also make Zack Moss inactive and give either Isaiah McKenzie or Marquez Stevenson some designed plays on offense to spread the defense horizontally. Dawson Knox draws a tough matchup with David so it would be wise to keep him in-line to help protect Allen. The Bills should be able to move the ball but execution in the red-zone will be vital to success on Sunday.

How to Win on Defense

There is no sugar coating it, the Buccaneers offense is simply better than the Bills defense. Without Tre’ White, nobody on the team can stop Mike Evans. He is an elite receiver and routinely wins balls in perfect coverage. The key will be getting physical and giving his assignment safety help. Chris Godwin will primarily play the slot and will be Taron Johnson’s toughest matchup yet.

Fortunately, Antonio Brown is suspended for faking his vaccine card and will be replaced by a combo of Breshad Perriman and Tyler Johnson. At tight end, Rob Gronkowski is a familiar face who is still playing great football. Even running back Leonard Fournette has become a threat in the pass game.

This is a spectacular group of pass-catchers and Brady will find the open man more often than not. You can’t outright stop them, but you can limit explosives. That will be the biggest focus on defense.

Brady has also taken some risks this season and has thrown 7 interceptions in his last 5 games. The Bills need to attack the ball and try to force turnovers when the opportunities are there. As good as the skill players are, the Buccaneers offensive line is even better. They have no weak links and are among the best at limiting pressure.

Brady has been significantly worse when pressured so finding a way to get to him would be a huge help. The best matchup we have in the trenches is Ed Oliver against Alex Cappa. He can be the biggest catalyst to defensive success. The Buccaneers quietly have a top rushing attack as well and can attack a well-known weakness of the Bills defense. Greg Rousseau will have to be at his best at setting the edge in the run game to funnel things back inside.

This is a tough draw for the whole defense and points will be scored. Generating turnovers and pressuring Brady is easier said than done but could be the key to pulling off the upset.

Prediction

I fully believe that the Bills have the ability to win this game. I expect plenty of offense and a competitive game down to the last snap. The Bills are 0-4 in one score games this season so they are due for positive regression at some point. However, I think they make too many mistakes to put together the perfect game that they need in this contest. My final score prediction is

Bills 27
Buccaneers 31


Let’s hope for Allen to step up and lead the team to a win but remember not to lose our heads if we drop this one. The playoffs are within reach either way. Regardless, this Bills vs Buccaneers matchup will be must-watch football.

Go Bills!

Bills Week 11 Recap – Jonathan Taylor Steamrolls Bills

Jonathan Taylor leaps over Buffalo defense - Bills Week 11
Photo by: Robert Scheer / Indy Star

Jonathan Taylor and the Indianapolis Colts ran all over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. The Bills’ Week 11 performance was somehow more disappointing than their loss to the Jaguars. They have now failed to win back-to-back games since early October.

The AFC East is currently led by the Patriots, who are playing some of the best football in the league. The sky is falling in Buffalo. Whatever has changed in Buffalo, there is still time to overcome it and be the team we all know and expect them to be.

Bills Week 11 Recap – The Good

Red Zone Offense

The Bills were perfect in their two red zone possessions with both touchdowns going to Stefon Diggs. This had been a weak point this season, but that was not the case in the Bills’ Week 11 game.

Allen hit Diggs on a 6-yard out to cut the Colts lead down to seven in the early second quarter. They connected again for a 9-yard score when the game was well out of reach in the early fourth quarter. Diggs is clearly still at the top of his game and deserves many more schemed looks as part of the natural game script.

No Injuries

It is hard to find positives after such a disheartening performance, but at least there were no injuries. I agree with McDermott’s decision to pull his starters when it was clear things were over. On a short week, rest and recovery is hard to come by and every bit helps.

Cole Beasley is limited with a rib injury, as he has been for weeks. Tremaine Edmunds was a full participant in their Monday walkthrough after missing the Bills’ Week 11 game. Unfortunately, Star Lotulelei and Spencer Brown will remain in Covid protocols and miss the Saints game.

Bills Week 11 Recap – The Bad

Josh Allen

Allen played poorly. This is not disputable. He was not the reason they lost, but the franchise QB should be the player to step up when everything else is going wrong. Allen did not. He forced his first interception into a bad spot, but an uncalled DPI allowed the safety to make his break. He also got picked when things were already over on a bad ball that Kenny Moore volleyed up to himself.

Throughout the day, he never really looked comfortable and had no command over the offense. This has been a concerning theme throughout this season — when adversity piles up, Allen fails to step up and pull the team out of it.

Bills Week 11 Recap – The Ugly

Culture

Sean McDermott’s buzzword of choice is “culture”. The previous teams took pride in an exceptional culture where everything was earned and never given. That culture was the foundation of the organizational turnaround. Those teams were disciplined and resilient and always willing to stand up and fight in the face of adversity.

This team, however, is soft. Their culture is all about gloating when they beat up bad teams and cowering when they are punched in the mouth. They get bullied in the trenches and have no fight in them when the going gets tough.

In post game interviews of all their losses, we hear “This is not who we are”. When it happens every other week, and this deep into the season, it is exactly who you are. There is plenty of time to dig in and find that resilient culture, but right now they don’t have it.

Coaching Decisions

Speaking of McDermott, he made some real bad decisions in this game. The Bills’ Week 11 game was cold, rainy, and windy. McDermott opted for two field goal attempts (57 and 49 yards) when they were down 24-7.

Needing multiple scores, knowing Taylor can run at will against you, and the weather being so bad are clear reasons to keep your offense on the field. The first attempt is excusable being an end-of-half play, but the second is inexcusable and essentially a forfeit.

The personnel management was disappointing as well. The defensive line was getting bullied and has not been great this year, but Ed Oliver had been a bright spot. Oliver only played 46% of the snaps, while Harrison Phillips and Vernon Butler both played over 60%. Run defense isn’t Oliver’s best attribute but he is certainly better than those two.

Another position with questionable management is running back. Devin Singletary has at least been serviceable this year and deserves some run. Zack Moss has been uninspiring, at best. Matt Breida has been inactive most of the season, but his impact on the offense is clear. He has burst and speed that the others lack and it showed in the past two games. He needs to be the guy going forward.

Run Defense

The Bills’ defense entered the game ranked top in the league without many questions. There were some skeptics based on the quality of offenses the team had faced, but nobody thought the unit was bad. The Colts exposed the unit.

Jonathan Taylor continued his potential MVP campaign gaining over 200 yards and five touchdowns. The team gave up nearly five yards per carry when they had eight or more in the box, and were expectedly even worse with light boxes. This was an all-around failure to compete against a team built to do exactly what they did on Sunday.

Isaiah McKenzie

McKenzie has been a fun spark in his return duties this year, causing some fans to ask “Andre Roberts who”? In the Bills’ Week 11 game, however, McKenzie showed a troubling problem that has followed him throughout his career: ball security. The Colts took a 17-7 lead late in the first half. The Bills were in a perfect “double dip” position with a chance to score in the two minute drill and get the ball back at halftime.

Instead, McKenzie fumbled the kick and gave the Colts a 1-yard field to work with. Taylor punched the ball in to take a 24-7 lead. The Bills never recovered from that moment, despite decent momentum immediately before it.

Offensive Line

The offensive line is really bad and has been really bad in all of their losses. Spencer Brown was missed and will be missed against New Orleans as well. Jon Feliciano has also been missed, and it appears unlikely that he will return by Thursday. As much as the team needs Brown, it was never the plan for him to start.

Openly admitting that the line was a weakness, Brandon Beane refused to address it in a meaningful way this offseason. His plan was to run it back with the same starting group he was dissatisfied with last season. They got lucky that their third round project tackle was good enough to start right away. This team lives and dies with the offensive line, and it is a concern that the front office has been comfortable with this weak group.

What’s Next?

The Bills have to put this game in the past and refocus quickly. They face the Saints in the Thanksgiving night game this Thursday. New Orleans lost Sunday as well but are strong in the trenches and post a similar threat to the Colts.

The schedule ahead is grueling and these next few weeks will reveal if the Bills are contenders or potentially not even a playoff team at all. Let’s hope that the Bills’ Week 11 result was a reality check for a team we all know is capable of competing.

Check back in later this week for a full preview of the Thanksgiving game. Go Bills!

Bills Week 9 Recap – Embarrassed in Jacksonville

The Bills Week 9 loss in Jacksonville was by far the worst game of the Sean McDermott era. They played undisciplined, uninspired football and lost without scoring a single offensive touchdown. Buffalo racked up twice as many penalties as they had points. The final score was a very not nice 6-9 in favor of the Jaguars. The team had shown small signs of weakness and dysfunction throughout the season but it was on full display in this game. Something is rotten within the team and they must get right quickly with the division race tightening up.

Bills week 9
Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

The Good

Tyler Bass

Not all was bad in the Bills week 9 embarrassment. Tyler Bass was asked to kick twice and was perfect as usual. He continues to be automatic and a steady presence on an otherwise inconsistent team.

Isaiah McKenzie

McKenzie has been all but removed from the offense but his play in the return game has been impressive. He averaged 32.2 kick return yards on his 4 chances, giving the Bills offense great starting field position. He secured a difficult fair catch on a punt as well.

Defense

The penalties were ugly and plentiful. Otherwise, the defense held strong. They held a bad Jaguars offense to 9 points and only 218 total yards. They forced a fumble and only allowed 2 conversions on 13 3rd down attempts. There were individual plays where the defense could’ve been much better but it was an overall solid performance.

The Bad

Josh Allen

Allen had a bad day. He completed 66% of his passes for 264 yards and added 50 yards on the ground. He also had 2 bad interceptions, a fumble and zero touchdowns. Allen was running for his life behind a disastrous offensive line but he certainly deserves criticism for this game. He overlooked open receivers on key plays towards the end of the game when victory was still within reach.

Brian Daboll

There is only so much an offensive coordinator can do. There is no play-call that fixes a broken offensive line. That said, he still made some questionable decisions and hasn’t found a way to jump start the offense. With players as talented as Allen, Diggs, and Beasley you should have some go-to calls to get them the ball quickly and let them work. In back to back games, he has begun late game drives with quick short passes to Diggs to manufacture offense. Why not go to that well earlier and more frequently?

The Ugly

Discipline

This game was riddled with flags. The officiating was absolutely dreadful but not one-sided and definitely an excuse for the result. The Bills earned most of their penalties by playing undisciplined and making stupid mistakes. Multiplier players were hot-headed and got called for unnecessary roughness. This team looked frustrated that they had to be there playing that game at all. They are uncharacteristically playing very undisciplined football. McDermott needs to find a way to control this team.

Offensive Line

The Buffalo Bills offensive line is by far the worst unit on the roster and ultimately what keeps them from being a true Super Bowl threat. That has been a constant for the team and was evident in the Bills week 9 loss. The interior got bullied by a bad Jaguars front and cannot compete against the league’s best. The tackles were also exposed by the Jaguars pass rushers. Josh Allen (DE) was the most impressive player on either side of the ball, embarrassing the Bills tackles. Things will improve when Spencer Brown returns and Daryl Williams can move back inside but interior should be overhauled.

Reputation

The Jaguars have deservedly been the laughing stock of the league over the last 2 seasons. They hadn’t won a game on US soil since Week 1 of the 2020 season. They’ve had multiple embarrassing off field moments with their head coach this season. None of that mattered today. They played steady football and let the Bills embarrass themselves. Jaguars CB Shaquill Griffin spoke in post-game interviews about how the Buffalo sideline lacked energy and how that gave his team the feeling that they deserved to win. They wanted it more.

This is a stain on the Bills organization that will be very hard to remove. Losses this ugly can have a domino effect on teams. It will be tough work for Buffalo to shake off what happened in Jacksonville.

What’s Next

The Bills travel to New Jersey next week to take on the 2-6 Jets in a divisional matchup. What looked like a guaranteed win is now a pivotal game to stay atop the AFC East. The Jets defensive front is among the best in the league and the Bills will need to figure out a solution or risk another embarrassing defeat. Sean McDermott has built a culture of discipline and resilience in his time with the team. Let’s hope this Bills week 9 loss serves as a wakeup call and they get back to their winning ways.

Check back in later this week for a full preview!