Can the Bills Win the AFC East Again?

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Can the Bills Win the AFC East Again?
Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates a touchdown. Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images/AFP

The Buffalo Bills had the biggest breakout in the league, and almost made it to the Super Bowl, thanks to a massive improvement from their offense. The acquisition of star receiver Stefon Diggs paid off handsomely with an All-Pro campaign, and a leap from quarterback Josh Allen. The Bills could be a force in the AFC for the next decade if Allen’s jump is real.

The state of the roster is an interesting one to dissect. There’s a lot of positives to see, including Allen’s emergence right before he needs an extension. Buffalo is sold on Allen, and 2021 should be another big year since Brian Daboll is staying as the offensive coordinator. I’m concerned that some of Allen’s numbers are inflated and could regress if his interceptable passes (he was second in the league despite only 10 being caught) aren’t being dropped as often.

Some of those problems will play themselves out on their own and Buffalo can’t help that Daboll may be gone in a year from now. The offense is almost complete and boast a deep corps of receivers. Augmenting the group on the fringes is important. 

The running game needs a boost after investing two Day 2 picks in Devin Singletary and Zack Moss. Neither is a special talent but they’re both fine, meaning the offensive line will need to be quite good for them to be especially efficient. Injuries hit that unit hard in 2020 and Buffalo could upgrade at least two positions through the draft or re-signing free agents. This team can justify taking Najee Harris at 30, and insiders project them as a natural fit.

Free agency brought some holes but Brandon Beane did a fantastic job retaining talent for a great price. It was stunning to see Matt Milano and Daryl Williams re-sign for below-market deals. Those moves speak to how happy everyone has been to build something special in Buffalo.

Drafting a guard or tackle in the first-round is a more cap-friendly decision than investing into the market. The late-first is perfect for this, but great guards can be had throughout Day 2 as well.

Help at edge-rusher and cornerback is also key. Josh Norman looked ready to retire and Wallace is zone-specific. Getting more versatile makes too much sense for this team to reach a new peak. Bashaud Breeland still could offer some value as impact starters without breaking the bank. Going after and aging veteran like Richard Sherman may lead to more injury woes.

Getting more size on the interior defensive line would help the linebackers succeed but that’s not a costly proposition. Signing Emmanuel Sanders at a bargain rate was an excellent pickup to offset the loss of John Brown.

What to Expect From Allen and Mahomes on Sunday's Bills vs. Chiefs Game
Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images/AFP

Allen’s extension should be massive and a headlining event as well. The going rate for quarterbacks has eclipsed $40 million per-year, and we’re about to see several cash in or renegotiate to hit that number. The Bills will pony up, and the pressure will be on Allen to repeat his outrageously productive season. 

How will this team build a better overall attack to beat the Chiefs, though? It’s hard to see it without hitting on an edge-rusher or superstar cornerback in the draft class. This front office must swing big to get more upside on the defensive side of the ball.

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