The 2023 season kicks off with the Patriots hosting the defending NFC Champs the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles enter the season with realistic expectations of a championship, while the Patriots are trying to reclaim their previous status as perennial contenders. It’ll be the first glimpse of the Bill O’Brien/Mac Jones offense and a chance to see how the Patriots’ multitude of tweeners all fit together on defense.
Eagles: 8 wins (including Super Bowl LII); Patriots: 7 wins (including Super Bowl XXXIX)
Patriots Offense vs. Eagles Defense
For the Patriots to be successful this year, the offense needs to return to the efficient model utilized in the early 2000s. They do not need to be a high-flying affair, but rather a competent and consistent offense. The defense will be good enough to keep this team in most, if not all, games, and the offense needs to keep from being the reason the team loses.
This game will be determined up front. The Eagles boast a ridiculously deep front seven littered with high-end pass rushers. The Patriots’ offensive line should be solid at four out of five positions at some point this season; unfortunately, it might not be game one. The Pats have dealt with a slew of injuries across the offensive line throughout the preseason. The lack of continuity and practice time may be apparent against the Eagles front.
A positive? The Eagles were among the bottom of the league in running games and stunts up front with their defensive line. If the Pats are going to be successful, it will be because of the big hogs winning their one-on-one match-ups.
The Patriots will need to lean on their running game to keep the offense on schedule and to keep the Eagles offense off the field. This game should feature a lot of Rhamondre Stevenson, while also giving Ezekiel Elliott a healthy workload in his Patriots debut. The Patriots may try to take advantage of the interior of the Eagles ‘defense with a steady dose of power and dive runs.
The Patriots may not find a lot of success passing to the boundaries, as the Eagles return stalwart corners James Bradberry and Darius Slay. Mac Jones should be able to find success in the middle of the field against a reworked safety duo. Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki should be in for a busy day.
Patriots Defense vs. Eagle Offense
The Eagles return a majority of starters from a top offense a year ago. They feature depth and talent up front, as well as a top-three wide-receiver duo. The quarterback is one of the best in the league. Their backfield took a hit after Miles Sanders left after a career year. The Patriots defense will have to be the strength of this team, and they will be tested immediately in week one.
The Patriots must pick and choose their spots to be aggressive against this Eagles offense. Sending extra defenders to rush the quarterback will leave the defensive backs manned up against a talented receiving corps. The Patriots lost a sticky cover man in Jack Jones this week. Jonathan Jones and rookie Christian Gonzalez face a challenge as the top corners against A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith. The Patriots can get away with intermittent man coverage calls, but can’t make a habit of it on Sunday.
The Patriots should be able to find success if they can get Jalen Hurts to throw while on the run. Hurts’ numbers last year while scrambling were below average. The key is to limit his ability to turn a scramble into a long gain on the ground. The Patriots should focus on sending interior pressure while keeping an athletic body on Hurts as a QB spy. The Pats can use the likes of Mack Wilson, Marte Mapu, Adiran Phillips, Jabrill Peppers, and Kyle Dugger as QB spies, while also giving multiple looks from different personnel groupings.
The Patriots will roll out rookies at both kicker and punter this year. Both Chase Ryland and Bryce Baringer feature booming legs, but may struggle with consistency early in their careers. Baringer can help the Patriots win the field position game even when punting from deep in his own territory. The Patriots reloaded the roster with special teams stalwarts after a down year in the game’s third phase. The Eagles have a steady kicker in Jake Elliott, but should not have an edge elsewhere on special teams.
The Patriots will need to play a very smart and efficient game on both sides of the ball to win the season opener. On a day when New England will be celebrating the legacy of The Goat, its fans may be left wishing for his presence on the field again. The Eagles will be able to harass Jones as the offensive line tries to find its footing.
The key to the game will be in the turnover battle. New England will need to steal a few possessions if they want to win this game. The Patriots will be able to keep up with the Eagles otherwise. Expect the Patriots to keep it close in the first half before the Eagles pull away late. Eagles win 28-20.
Speaking of Tom, how lucky were we!? Congrats GOAT. You deserve it.
The NFL season is right around the corner, with the Patriots kicking things off a little less than a week from today. The summer was full of competitions, additions, and subtractions throughout the roster. Cutdown day featured a number of surprises, as well as a few late additions. We’ll look at each player on the Patriots 53 man roster, with this article focused on the offense.
New England Patriots Roster: Offense
Entering a make-or-break third year, Mac Jones will finally have the support of a real offensive coordinator behind him. Last year was marred with injury and inefficient play calling — and play making. He needs this to be his best season yet; the expectation is it will be. The Patriots aren’t looking for monster numbers from him, but consistent and smart play will go a long way with this team.
The Patriots added Corral two days after the initial cuts. Since he was claimed off waivers from Carolina, he immediately became part of the active roster. Corral was a highly touted prospect coming out of Ole Miss last year, but injuries and off-the-field concerns dropped his draft stock. It makes sense for the Patriots to take a flyer on a recent top prospect with high-end talent.
Stevenson had a breakout year in 2022, but it was apparent he was wearing down at the end of the year. The Patriots view him as a do-everything feature back. He will be heavily used in the New England offense.
Zeke Elliott was added late in training camp after both second-year backs failed to provide any competition. He will bring a confident swagger to the locker room and a competitive attitude to gameday. He’s no longer the game-breaker he was a few years ago, but will be efficient in all aspects of the game while spelling Stevenson.
Henry has proven to be Mac’s go-to guy on offense the last two years. His production took a dip last year (whose didn’t in that offense?), but should bounce back in a big way, as new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien utilizes more 12 personnel. Henry should return as a red zone monster in 2023.
Gesicki is the counter-punch to Henry in 12 personnel. He fits as the athletic receiving type in the dual TE offense. Gesicki was putting together a nice career in Miami before a massively underwhelming 2022 campaign in Mike McDaniel’s offense. He will be another Mac favorite if he can stay on the field.
Bourne was in Patricia’s dog house last year, but when he did play, he produced at an impressive clip. Possibly New England’s most explosive receiver, he has put together a fantastic summer and should put up career numbers in a very important contract year.
Parker has always shown flashes of a dominant jump-ball receiver; his problem has always been his ability to stay healthy. When Parker is on the field, he will provide a high-end boundary target in the offense, with jump ball ability in the red zone. Parker is a potential highlight every time he’s on the field.
Patriot Nation is notorious for begging for “weaponzzzzzzz” every offseason. Smith-Schuster is the least talked about receiver this year after being added in free agency. Smith-Schuster will do a lot of work between the numbers, and do most of his damage after the catch.
His draft mate, Kayshon Boutte, grabbed more headlines during the draft and throughout the summer, but it was Douglas who immediately cemented his status as a starter in the offense. Douglas received veteran treatment throughout the preseason, and teammates have huge expectations for him headed into his rookie campaign. He has a great chance at being the next in a long line of productive slot receivers in New England.
Once heralded as a surefire first-round pick, Boutte fell to the sixth round due to injury and off-field concerns. He was a bit of a slow burner this summer before becoming white-hot the last two weeks of training camp. The Patriots valued him enough to keep six wide receivers on the initial roster and go thin at other positions rather than chance him on waivers. Boutte may be a frequent gameday inactive before catching a case of the Foxboro Flu to give him a redshirt season in the pros.
How the line performs will determine how the offense performs. How the line performs all starts in the middle with captain David Andrews. Andrews has struggled with injury and medical scares the last couple of seasons, prompting the Patriots to draft his eventual replacement in April. As long as he is on the field, he will provide consistent, high-level play.
Perhaps the Patriots’ most enigmatic lineman, Brown, has a chance to be an All-Pro or benched at any time. When he is motivated, there aren’t many linemen better than him. Unfortunately, there has been some difficulty keeping him motivated for the last two years. Brown is in the final year of his contract and may be motivated to try to find one last big payday.
Onwenu has been the Patriots’ best offensive lineman since he entered the league in 2020. Onwenu had ankle surgery late in the offseason, making his status for the start of the season a question. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Patriots eased him back in since he missed all of training camp.
The Patriots first-round pick last year was a surprise to some. Strange was streaky last year, but would go a long way to stabilizing the line with more consistent play. Unfortunately, Strange was injured on the first padded practice of training camp and just returned to practice last week. He may be eased in, as well.
Anderson signed with the Patriots after playing with the Broncos last season. He was a capable swing tackle, but seemed to struggle as a full-time starter. Anderson was putting together a strong spring before a mysterious illness kept him out of team activities until last week. His status is uncertain heading into the season. The team hasn’t placed him on the PUP or NFI list, but it may be unrealistic to expect him to play immediately.
The heir apparent at center, Andrews was drafted in the fourth round out of Troy. Andrews provides an athletic presence at center. The team would prefer Andrews develop for a year or two before letting him take over the center of the line.
The Patriots acquired Lowe from the Vikings prior to cutdown day. Lowe was a sixth-round pick by the Vikings in 2022. During his rookie year he appeared in four games, primarily at left tackle. He is an athletic tackle who should slide in as the Patriots swing tackle.
Mafi enters the league with the Patriots after being taken in the fifth round out of UCLA. Mafi is a mauler at right guard who would be fun to be see get a carry or two at the goal line.
The Pats brought Reiff aboard in hopes he’d be a band-aid at right tackle for this season. Unfortunately, Reiff has played below expectations and was subsequently moved inside to guard. He adds a veteran presence in the room, but shouldn’t see much time unless injuries decimate the depth chart.
Sow was taken a round ahead of Mafi and also played guard throughout his college career. During training camp, the team slid him out wide, where he has primarily stayed at tackle. Sow has a lot of strength at the point of attack, but is still learning to recognize certain schemed pass rushes. Sow very well could develop into a solid pro, but should only see spot duty this year.
Tyrone Wheatley Jr.
Wheatley was acquired from Cleveland for second-year running back Pierre Strong the same day the Pats acquired Lowe from the Vikings. Wheatley went undrafted in 2020 and spent the next two years playing in The Spring League and bouncing around practice squads before finding a home with the Browns. He doesn’t have much NFL experience, but was putting together an extremely strong preseason in Cleveland. The Pats will hope he develops into a solid swing tackle.
From Jalen Hurts to Tua Tagovailoa to Mac Jones and now Bryce Young, Nick Saban has been on a historic quarterback run. However, going into their Sugar Bowl matchup with Kansas State, there are a lot of questions surrounding the quarterback position for Alabama.
Superstar QB Bryce Young will play in the bowl game, much to the surprise of college football fans. It isn’t with Bryce where the questions lie. The questions are what comes next after Alabama loses its greatest quarterback?
Alabama Quarterback Options:
While it was thought that Coach Saban might dip into the transfer portal for freshman standout Drake Maye. That turned out to be a pipe dream for Alabama fans. Saban and Alabama will be rolling with the quarterbacks currently on the roster. Let’s get into the options:
We got to see some of Jalen Milroe during Bryce Young’s injury. The young quarterback looked decent against Texas A&M and Arkansas. He is very raw, much like Jalen Hurts during his time in Alabama. Milroe seems like the favorite currently, however footage during practice for the bowl game has come out of him running routes at wide receiver. Only time will tell with Milroe.
Now, with Milroe’s future up in the air, the guy on his heels is Ty Simpson. Simpson was a top recruit, with a 98.883 composite rating. He left his home state of Tennessee for Alabama and is the reported reason Alabama went out on Arch Manning. Personally, I think Ty Simpson has all the tools to be the next great Alabama quarterback.
Alabama brings in two 4-star quarterbacks, neither of which will make much of an impact — at least initially. Eli Holstein has drawn Mac Jones comparisons, which feels like an insult to Mac Jones. Dylan Lonergan has a bit more upside, but he’s extremely raw and will need time to develop.
Who is the Alabama Quarterback next year
My take is that Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson will have a serious battle all off-season. In the end, the versatility of Milroe means he might end up as a running back or wide receiver. Ty Simpson ends up as the Alabama quarterback. Simpson will need a lot of help, but he can get the job done in T-Town.
The wait is over, the 2022 NFL regular season is upon us. After a long offseason fueled by excitement and high expectations, the Mike McDaniel era in Miami has arrived. First up, a familiar foe in the New England Patriots — for the third straight year. Dolphins ATB preview the key matchups, expectations and keys to success ahead of their NFL regular season opener against the Patriots.
Expectations for Week 1
Expectations are certainly high for the 2022 Miami Dolphins. However, having gone back to last year’s Week 1 preview article, the narrative is shockingly similar…
“After years of mediocrity Dolphins fans are somewhat bemused about what to expect, going into a season a strong favorite as a playoff contender. Gone are the days of Chan Gailey’s archaic play-calling, with the new era of George Godsey and Eric Studesville bringing excitement over the possibility of a modernized attack. Last season the Dolphins thrived when they played up-tempo. The additions the Dolphins made this offseason highlight how speed will be an integral part of the 2021 Dolphins offense.”
Everything said in the above quote can be said about the 2022 Dolphins. Whether you call it delusion or insanity, us fans fixate on what our destiny could be and with high expectations for what the season may bring. Despite years of being let down by the team, I have no choice but to fall back into the trap of thinking “this could be the year” or “things are different this year”.
As to the present, I do expect the Dolphins to have the edge this game. The Patriots’ offense appears to be a ship without a captain, with Matt Patricia and Joe Judge attempting to fill the play calling void left behind by Josh McDaniels. While I expect the Patriots’ pass rushers to cause the offensive line difficulties, I feel that Miami’s weapons will prove to be a matchup nightmare against New England’s secondary.
As to what I expect from the Dolphins, I expect a rather conservative game, trying to establish the run early and gain rhythm and consistency on the short and intermediate passes. Do not expect the long balls early, those will come with time. While this offense and Tua may feel they have a point to prove, they first have a game to win. Starting the season with a winning record is far more important than seeing a Tua-to-Tyreek 75-yard touchdown pass on the opening play.
Keys to Success
1. Establish the Run
The Dolphins have had mixed success in running the football against the Patriots in recent years, with a lot of Miami’s success in establishing the run coming later on in the season.
Over their past two regular season openers against the Patriots, the Dolphins have averaged 80 yards from 25 carries and 3.2 YPC.
In the second meeting between the two teams, the Dolphins have managed to average 222 yards from 42 carries, which equates to 5.3 YPC.
The Dolphins have struggled so far during camp, and the pre-season, to establish the run. Nevertheless, with a vastly improved backfield and renowned running game expert in Mike McDaniel calling the plays, the Dolphins will be hoping that the new zone running scheme will signal the end of Miami’s early season troubles in rushing the football.
2. Pressure Up Front
Play to your strengths. Miami has one of the strongest defensive lines in the league. However, with Byron Jones currently on the PUP list until Week 5, Miami’s “Amoeba” defense is likely to be hamstrung with out one of their lockdown corners.
It is therefore essential that Miami’s defensive line can keep sustained pressure on Mac Jones. Jones, a traditional pocket passer, achieved a 71.9 percent completion rate when he had a clean pocket in 2021. When under pressure, that completion percentage dropped drastically to 54.3 percent.
While New England’s receiving corps is nothing to write home about, if Jones is allowed time in the pocket, Miami’s depleted corners may struggle to lockdown the likes of Devante Parker, Nelson Agholor, and Jakobi Meyers. It will be interesting to see which receiver will line up opposite Xavien Howard.
The DL will also be key to containing the Patriots’ backfield that totaled 2,151 rushing yards and 24 TDs in 2021, behind a strong offensive line.
Under Brian Flores, the Dolphins were one of the least penalized teams in the NFL. This early in the season, there is inevitably going to be some teething problems for all teams. A key to the Dolphins’ success will be keeping those mistakes to a minimum to prevent beating themselves.
A new look offensive line that has had limited play time together as a unit, may encounter some early difficulties as they seek to build chemistry as a group. Minimizing drive killing penalties will be key to any team wishing to start the season 1-0.
Key Matchup: Austin Jackson vs Matt Judon
With Terron Armstead solidifying the left side of the line, it is highly likely that Bill Belichick will seek to overpower Tua’s blindside and Austin Jackson. Who better to do that than Matt Judon, who ranked 52nd on the NFL Top 100.
Judon’s acceleration and penetration make this a key matchup against Jackson, who has struggled in his early career to get his feet set — especially against speed rushers.
However, there is reason for optimism. Jackson, who has made the transition to right tackle after stints at left tackle and left guard, has impressed during camp.
“When Austin Jackson is playing right tackle, I’ve been very pleased”
Dolphins’ Head Coach Mike McDaniel
Jackson’s athleticism and intelligence gives him every chance to succeed in Miami’s new outside zone blocking scheme. However, the transition will not be an easy one, with Judon coming off a career high 12.5 sacks.
A number of Miami’s starters were limited in practice on Wednesday, however all 53 players on the roster practiced. Jaylen Waddle’s injury has officially been designated as a quad injury, with Nik Needham suffering a similar injury. Nevertheless, it is hoped that both will be fit for Sunday’s game.
As for the Patriots, Meyers (knee), OT Isaiah Wynn (back), and RB/WR Ty Montgomery (knee) were all limited during Wednesday’s practice.
The AFC East has gained a new look since Tom Brady left for Tampa. Four young quarterbacks look to be their teams answer for the next decade as they battle for the title: AFC East Champions. Big stars enter the division this year. Let’s see who joined and how it all will end in our AFC East preview.
AFC East Preview
4. New York Jets
Key loses – OT Morgan Moses, WR Jamison Crowder, DE Foley Fatukasi, FS Marcus Maye,
Key additions – OG Laken Tomlinson, CB D.J. Reed, TE C.J. Uzomah, TE Tyler Conklin, OT Duane Brown, S Jordan Whitehead, OLB Jake Martin, DE Solomon Thomas, K Greg Zuerlein, ILB Kwon Alexander, CB Ahmad Gardner, WR Garrett Wilson, RB Breece Hall, DE Jermaine Johnson II, TE Jeremy Ruckert
Re-signed – FB Nick Bawden (1-year)
Head coach Robert Saleh’s first season in East Rutherford wasn’t ideal. The team went 4-13 and got swept by the rest of the AFC East. They were one of the worst teams in the league, but added a lot of talent in the offseason. With a handful of high NFL draft picks, this Jets team could now be a somewhat competitive team.
Last season’s offense would end up having four different quarterbacks play for them due to injuries. Zach Wilson started a majority of them, and he comes into this season looking to prove he is the future in New York. The front office helped him out by getting some weapons. Rookie wideout Garrett Wilson will be trying to become Wilson’s top target, and tight end C.J. Uzomah is going to be a safety valve.
While Michael Carter is listed as the #1 running back, rookie Breece Hall should see plenty of snaps as he looks to take over the #1 spot. This offensive line is up-and-coming, and has the potential to become elite. It is still a young offense, so there will be some hiccups along the way, but the Jets should improve on their 26th ranked offense.
Jets fans had a tough time watching their offense last year, but the defense was even worse. They ranked dead last in the NFL in yards, points for, and first downs allowed. They did add some talent, though, with rookies Jermaine Johnson II and Ahmed “Sauce” Gardner. Johnson II helps to create a solid defensive front four with John Franklin-Myers and Quinnen Williams.
Gardner pairs up with newly acquired cornerback D.J. Reed, causing this secondary to have one of the most improved units in the NFL. However, the Jets still have one of the worst linebacker corps in the league with C.J. Mosley and Quincy Williams, who both had one of the worst seasons of their careers last season.
While the Jets improved a lot this offseason, they still have a ways to go. They still have to find out if Wilson is the answer, so I have them finishing 5-12, and 1-5 against the AFC East. They are heading in the right direction, and this season needs to be an improvement.
3. New England Patriots
Key loses – WR Gunner Olszewski, CB J.C. Jackson, ILB Kyle Van Noy, C Ted Karras, RB Brandon Bolden
Key additions – WR Ty Montgomery, S Jabrill Peppers, CB Terrance Mitchell, CB Malcolm Butler, OG Cole Strange, WR Tyquan Thornton, CB Marcus Jones, CB Jack Jones
Re-signed – OT Trent Brown (2-years), ILB Ja’whaun Bentley (2-years), K Nick Folk (2-years), WR/ST Matthew Slater (1-year)
Extensions – S Adrian Phillips (3-years, $14 million), P Jake Bailey (4-years, $13 million), DT Davon Godchaux (2-years, $20 million), RB James White (2-years, $5 million)
Year two without Tom Brady, and the Patriots ended up making the playoffs. With Mac Jones becoming the first rookie quarterback since 1993 to start for the Patriots, they went 10-7. They would go on to lose 47-17 in the playoffs to the Buffalo Bills in the worst postseason loss of head coach Bill Belichick’s tenure. It was an interesting offseason for the Patriots, as they hope to reach the postseason again.
Mac Jones and the Patriots offense finished 15th in total offense a year ago. Yet, they didn’t do much this offseason on that side of the ball. Drafting Cole Strange in the first round was definitely strange to fans, but he helps create a top ten offensive line. This should help out their running back committee, as they hope to lead the Patriots to a top ten finish in rushing again.
Wideouts Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne had solid seasons in 2021. They are hoping their chemistry with Jones causes another leap in their statistics. This offense still features below average weapons, and with questionable play calling, they might be one of the bottom ten offenses in the league.
Bill Belichick’s been known for his defensive mind, and last season showed another reason why. The Patriots finished fourth in total defense. However, they struggled against the run, finishing 22nd in yards against. It didn’t help to lose JC Jackson this offseason, but bringing back Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler is a decent consolation. The secondary has depth and a great safety duo, but might struggle against elite receivers.
The linebacker corps took a hit losing Kyle Van Noy, but has two guys that play hard in Bentley and Wilson. The young defensive line looks to make a jump next to veteran Matthew Judon. With Bill Belichick at the helm, I don’t see this defense being ranked lower than ten.
One of the harder teams to predict in this league, I believe the Patriots will finish 7-10 after going 1-5 in the division. Mac Jones will need to take a big leap this season for them to reach the playoffs.
2. Miami Dolphins
Key loses – QB Jacoby Brissett, OG Jesse Davis, WR Albert Wilson, CB Justin Coleman
Key additions – OT Terron Armstead, WR Cedrick Wilson, C Connor Williams, RB Chase Edmonds, CB Keion Crossen, FB Alec Ingold, QB Teddy Bridgewater, OLB Melvin Ingram, RB Raheem Mostert, DE Trey Flowers, P Thomas Morstead, WR Tyreek Hill, LB Channing Tindall, WR Erik Ezukanma, QB Skylar Thompson
Re-signed – TE Durham Smythe (2-years)
Extensions – CB Xavien Howard (5-years, $50 million), WR Tyreek Hill (4-years, $120 million)
After starting 1-7, Miami would finish the season winning eight out of their last nine to finish with a record of 9-8. Despite the second-half success, they still decided to fire head coach Brian Flores and hire Mike McDaniel. They would make another big move this offseason, trading for superstar wide receiver Tyreek Hill. It creates one of the fastest duos in NFL history, and the Dolphins are looking to challenge Buffalo for the division.
With Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa should have no issue getting the ball out fast. With this offensive line, Tua will need to get the ball out fast. Even with the upgrades made from last season, they still rank in the bottom ten in the league. Overall, the receiving corps will help boost this offense up from their 25th ranked offense last season.
The new running back committee will have a tough time between the tackles, but should get plenty of touches out of the backfield to make plays. The offensive line holds this offense back, but they should still rank in the middle of the league.
The defense last season was up-and-down. They ranked 15th in total yards while not exceling against either the run or the pass. They added some older veterans to help this defenses rise in the rankings. The secondary is a top five group, with cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Bryon Jones leading the way. That helps an average defensive line, as they are able to be an excellent blitzing team.
The only concern on this defense is the linebackers. Jerome Baker leads the group, and he has yet to show that he is an elite linebacker. Rookie Channing Tindall should get a chance to help this group out. This is a solid defense overall, and I expect them to be just outside the top ten this season.
The Miami Dolphins will be fighting for the playoffs this season, as I believe they finish 10-7 after going 4-2 in the AFC East. It could come down to tiebreakers for Miami, as the loaded AFC will be close.
1. Buffalo Bills
Key loses – DE Mario Addison, DE Jerry Hughes, P Matt Haack, DT Harrison Phillips, C Jon Feliciano, CB Levi Wallace, WR Cole Beasley, OC Brian Daboll
Key additions – OLB Von Miller, DT DaQuan Jones, DT Tim Settle, OG Rodger Saffold, DE Jordan Phillips, WR Jamison Crowder, OT David Quessenberry, P Sam Martin, CB Kaiir Elam, RB James Cook, WR Khalil Shakir, LB Terrel Bernard, CB Christian Benford
Re-signed – RB/ST Taiwan Jones (1-year), OG Ike Boettger (1-year), CB Siran Neal (3-years), LB Tyrel Dodson (1-year)
A gut-wrenching loss against the Chiefs last season ended the Bills season one game away from the AFC Championship. This season, they are looking to go the farthest they have since 1994, the Super Bowl. With the addition of two-time Super Bowl Champion Von Miller, they are primed and ready to win back-to-back AFC East titles — and maybe more. Will Buffalo be able to get the job done, or will they have another season that ends in heartbreak?
The Bills finished fifth in total offense last season while being effective in both the passing and rushing game. Josh Allen is back and is looking to have an MVP season with wideouts Stefon Diggs and breakout hopeful Gabe Davis. With Dawson Knox, the Bills have plenty of guys to throw to, and they added another in the draft. Running back James Cook is looking to provide that threat out of the backfield in the passing game, while we’ll see a lot of Devin Singletary in the run game.
All of these weapons make Allen’s, and the offensive line’s, job a lot easier. It’s an offensive line that ranks in the middle of the NFL, with the potential to be a top ten group. New offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey will have some fun taking over.
The top defense in the NFL last season got even better. They went out and added future hall of famer Von Miller to help rush the passer. They are hoping he can finally bring an elite pass rush to Buffalo alongside Ed Oliver and Greg Rousseau. Elite depth at the position should help plug up the middle and get after the quarterback.
Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds hasn’t lived up to the hype yet, but is still solid. This creates a duo with Matt Milano that still has the potential to boost this group into the top ten. The secondary is getting corner Tre White back midseason, but in the meantime will have to rely on three young guys to step up. Their job will be easier in Buffalo with the help of the arguably the best safety duo in the league. This defense should be in the top three yet again this season.
It’s Super Bowl or bust this season for the Bills, as the hype is the highest it’s been in two decades. I predict that the Bills will go 14-3 and 6-0 against the AFC East. They have the most talented roster in the NFL and, barring injuries, should compete for the Lombardi trophy.