The Buffalo Bills organization has banned their fans from jumping through tables but that won’t stop them for cheering their team on in 2019. Head coach Sean McDermott is heading into his third season at the position and is hoping for a quick turnaround this year.
Last season, the Bills finished with a record of 6-10 which was the second-worst record in the AFC East besides the New York Jets. The previous year, the Bills managed to go 9-7 in McDermott’s second-season and made the playoffs.
The Bills would lose in the first round but making the playoffs was a big deal in Buffalo. Before making the playoffs in 2017, Buffalo hadn’t experienced the postseason since 1999. Fans were ecstatic to see their beloved Bills in the playoffs once again but they snapped back into reality in 2018.
Josh Allen was playing in his first season under center after being drafted in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The Bills didn’t have much to support the rookie signal caller in his first season and the offense’s production showed that.
Heading into 2019, the Bills have added a few pieces that can hopefully put them in position to make a run for the playoffs.
Although, there are still a few concerns that the team has before training camps begin in a couple of weeks.
3. Who is the Starting Running Back?
This offseason, the Bills have a crowded backfield with a couple of different types of running backs. To go along with LeSean McCoy, the Bills added Frank Gore, T.J. Yeldon, and Devin Singletary.
Out of those four guys, who gets the nod in Week 1 as the starting running back? At this point of McCoy’s career, injuries have become a constant issue—leaving him as an unreliable option at running back.
Gore will continue to play football until his legs fall off but at 36-years old, he shouldn’t be relied upon as the starter. So what about Yeldon or Singletary? Yeldon is mainly a receiving threat and will likely see the most of his work come on third-down passing situations.
Singletary is a rookie and will likely land in as last on the depth chart while he develops this season.
The Bills will need to figure out who their lead running back is if they hope to have the ninth-best rushing offense as they did in 2018.
2. The Pass Rush
Every team in the NFL is focused on finding ways to get to the quarterback in today’s pass-happy league. If you are unable to get sacks or provide pressure on the quarterback, your team is likely to fall to the wayside.
In 2018, the Bills were one of the few teams who struggled to find ways to bring down the quarterback. As a team, Buffalo tallied just 36 sacks which were bad enough to rank them as 26th in the NFL in sacks.
This season, the Bills are going to need a lot more production from their pass rushers. Training camp is going to be interesting as Trent Murphy and Shaq Lawson will battle for one of the defensive end spots. Of course, the other side is occupied by Jerry Hughes and is already taken.
Murphy joined the Bills in 2018 but struggled to get going with his new team. Both Murphy and Lawson managed to get four sacks apiece but that wasn’t enough to help the team win any more games.
While playing in the same division as the New England Patriots, the Bills will need a pass rush that can get after guys like Tom Brady.
If not, teams will continue finding ways to beat the Bills with their lack of a pass rush.
1. Josh Allen
The only area of the Bills that worse than their pass rush was their passing offense in 2018. Allen had little to no help all season and the team never got going at any point. In 2018, the passing offense ranked 31st in the NFL only behind the Arizona Cardinals
It’s already tough to go out as a rookie and lead a team but it’s even more rugged to do so with no reliable weapons. Injuries and inconsistency from their skill players didn’t help the rookie but he also had his shortcomings.
As most know, Allen has tremendous arm talent but his accuracy and decision making leave a lot to be desired. The rookie quarterback completed just 52.8% of his passes and threw 12 interceptions in 2018.
For the Bills to improve as a team, they are going to need Allen to improve as a quarterback.