I cannot believe I am about to say this, but the Buffalo Bills are the favorites in the AFC East heading into 2020.
There. I said it.
Yes; the team that has made just a couple of playoff appearances since 2000 and has not actually won a playoff game in two-and-a-half decades is the favorite to win a division, and over the New England Patriots, no less.
A combination of things led to this moment.
Let’s start by giving the Bills credit. They have done a phenomenal job of rising from the ashes over the last couple of years, putting together a terrific defense and an interesting young offense led by Josh Allen.
Am I the biggest fan of Allen? No. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure he will ever be anything more than just a decent quarterback (at best), but he did lead Buffalo to 10 wins this past season, and the Bills have enough pieces around him to help him have some success next year.
But let’s address the major elephant in the room first: Tom Brady is no longer in New England, which has opened the door to not only Buffalo, but the rest of the AFC East.
Could Allen and Co. fall flat on their faces in 2020? Absolutely, but I am more inclined to believe that Buffalo will actually emerge on top in the division next season, especially after the addition of wide receiver Stefon Diggs.
The Bills don’t have an elite group of weapons. However, their offensive talent is intriguing.
We already talked about Allen, and in the backfield, they have an impressive young running back in Devin Singletary. The receiving corps also now officially goes three deep in Diggs, John Brown and Cole Beasley, and 23-year-old tight end Dawson Knox appears to have some potential.
Throw in the fact that Buffalo’s defense should be every bit as good in 2020 as it was in 2019, and you can understand why I am somewhat bullish on the Bills right now.
Plus, it’s not like the Patriots have done anything to address their biggest issues.
They still don’t know who their quarterback will be, and even when they solve that problem, the club’s weapons on offense remain rather barren. New England also lost some key defensive pieces this offseason.
Obviously, Bill Belichick is still in charge in Foxborough, so the Pats could still manage to make the most of their talent and somehow win the AFC East, but I don’t think Belichick can lead that current group to a division crown.
The Bills even gave the Patriots a legitimate fight for the division title this past year, as it took New England having to beat Buffalo in a close game at Gillette Stadium late in the season to lock things down.
Now, going into 2020, the Bills may very well have the edge.