In some ways it feels like a missed opportunity to take advantage of some of New England's misfortunes. The whole AFC East let them off the hook. In a year where they lost key starters like Wilfork, Mayo, Tommy Kelly, and Gronkowski for half the year. Then factor in the turmoil with Aaron Hernandez in the off season. Yet they still managed to finish 12-4 and win the AFC East.
How much should the Bills invest into 2014? The timing to strike is good. The Patriots will have tough Cap decisions to make. They have 4 key starters who are set to be UFA's Talib, Edelman, Spikes and their center Wendell. They aren't in a great position in their Salary Cap so if they Decided to sign Talib who will be getting big money they might not be able to keep any of the others. Either way they will lose some Talent. Of coarse they still have Bellichick and Brady, but they are beatable. Both the Jets and Dolphins split with the Pats.
Speaking of the Jets and Dolphins they are in some what vulnerable states heading into 2014. Miami is making changes, they recently Fired their GM Ireland and OC Sherman. It might take them time to get all their ducks in a row. The Jets kept Rex Ryan but won't committ to him long term and seem to want him to make changes to some of his defensive staff. They don't have a ton of talent on offense and will have a tough decision to make about Santonio Homes. If he goes they will have even less experience on offense.
Making a big playoff push vs being good for a long time. This is a tricky thing to manage. There have been some teams who have made it to the playoffs only to fall apart immediately after. 3 years ago Detroit made the playoffs but failed to do so the following 2 seasons and now have fired their coach. Tampa Bay made the playoffs early in Josh Freeman's career and then they continuly regressed after that. The Houston Texans were in the playoffs back to back and then went 2-14.
This is as big of an off season as I can remember for the Bills. It is a difficult balance to get better and get us to the playoffs and to be able to sustain that level of success. So I wonder what we should do. Go all in and try and make a run while Mario and Kyle Williams are in there prime. Or be a little more conservative and make sure we stay competitive. Ultimately I would like to see the Bills become the dominant force in the AFC East for the next 15 years.