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Pro Football Focus analyst sees Bills as 2nd best team in AFC East

Sam Monson of PFF thinks Buffalo is a contending team in the division.

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For the past 15 years, the AFC East is consisted of the New England Patriots and the three teams behind them.

That’s what it’s been like for the hopeful underdogs like the Buffalo Bills since QB Tom Brady has been in the picture.

“This year is the year,” would be the thought to come from most optimistic Bills fans heading into Week 1, only to be let down by Week 12. With Brady still in the picture, it’s pretty clear that the division isn’t up for grabs as much as, say, the NFC East or the AFC South.

Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus seems to be confident in the Bills being the second best team in the division, and that’s mainly because of the quarterback situation.

“I think the Bills are the team that’s closest to being able to do it, purely because I think their quarterback situation might be the best. The Bills, with Tyrod Taylor, were really good last year. It earned him that new contract.”

Monson continued praising the second-year starter.

“Even in practice, he looks pretty good,” Monson said. “He needs to improve in the short and intermediate levels of his game, but he can hit those deep passes. He throws a deep ball as well as anybody in this league, and it’s not just straight go routes down the field. It’s the really deep sideline stuff, it’s deep over the middle, it’s all the difficult passes that most quarterbacks struggle to be able to make. He seems to be able to make those fine, and it’s the short and easy stuff that he seems to struggle with a bit more. But I think he’s a guy that could raise that team and actually take them somewhere if that defense is able to play to a dual Rex and Rob Ryan kind of standard. So I think the Bills are the best team to have the potential to be able to do that.”

Overall, PFF seems to be high on the Bills outlook for 2016. The team has earned high rankings for all of the website’s off-season positional power rankings, and they sent out this tweet regarding the quarterback spot.

The site ranked the Bills’ offensive line 10th in the NFL. Buffalo improved their rushing attack from 25th in 2014 to top of the league in 2015. The additions of Richie Incognito helped secure the interior offensive line stability. The help of Greg Roman’s intricate blocking scheme was instrumental to the Bills’ reputation as an elite running team coming into 2016.

Success from the offensive line led to Bills’ earning the 8th spot in their Running Back Rankings. PFF stated the Bills backfield may consist of the best, complementary two-headed monster in the NFL with LeSean McCoy and Karlos Williams.

On the other side of the ball, the Bills’ took the No. 5 spot in their Cornerback Rankings. According to PFF, Ronald Darby and Stephon Gilmore combined for 5.1 coverage snaps per target in 2015.

There’s been a ton of mixed emotions regarding the 2016 Bills. Even with all the injuries and suspensions, the quarterback position will be the deciding factor in challenging the reigning division champs.