The Buffalo Bills are 5-2, and they’re getting their wins through a true team effort. As a result, there really isn’t anybody on the roster with any place in the league-wide MVP discussion. The Bills have their share of important players, sure, but it’s hard to single out anybody who’s been keeping them out of the cellar through the first part of what was supposed to be a rebuilding year.
That said, there are a few names to consider:
The one person most responsible for the great start is probably head coach Sean McDermott, and he’s firmly in contention for Coach of the Year. He has the Bills playing at a very high level and has instilled the sense of discipline that has definitely been lacking in years past. He has the locker room in his corner, and at this point even a good portion of the usually-skeptical fanbase is trusting The Process. That said, the P in MVP stands for player, so he’s out of the running on a technicality.
K Stephen Hauschka
It’s usually hard to find a kicker who carries a whole lot of responsibility for his team’s success, but Stephen Hauschka has been a stud for the Bills this year. He’s faded into the background a bit after one of the best two-game stretches a kicker has ever had against the Broncos and Falcons, hitting four field goals from 53+ yards and putting up the winning points with a 55-yarder and a 56-yarder in Atlanta. He’s 16-for-18 this year, with both misses coming in wins, and after missing six extra points for the Seahawks last year he’s been perfect on 15 point-after tries in 2017. He’s also been good enough on kickoffs that the Bills have been able to forego the kickoff specialist roster spot that Jordan Gay took up for most of the last two seasons. That all said, he’s a kicker, so calling him an MVP is a stretch by any means.
S Micah Hyde
From a statistical standpoint, safety Micah Hyde is a clear choice. He currently leads the NFL with five interceptions, four of which have come in the last four games. He’s already two clear of his previous career high and could challenge the team record of ten, set by Billy Atkins in 1961 and tied by Tom Janik in 1967. (The post-merger record is a four-way tie with nine, most recently by Jairus Byrd in 2009.) It hasn’t been all luck with him, either; Hyde is always in position to make a play, especially as a centerfielder on deep passes. He’s also tackling well, and while he’s not on Jordan Poyer’s level against the run he’s far from a liability.
RB LeSean McCoy
The most talented player on the roster is undoubtedly running back LeSean McCoy, and he’s begun to show that again in the wins over the Buccaneers and Raiders. He hit a definite lull in the beginning of the year, but his form seems to be back after running for 242 yards and three touchdowns in the last two games. He’s also a significant figure in the passing game, as his 38 catches on the year are almost twice as many as anybody else has caught with the Bills this season. That two-game stretch early in the season, though, is hard to ignore.
QB Tyrod Taylor
It’s hard to avoid mentioning the quarterback in this kind of thing, and Tyrod Taylor has certainly brought value in that he’s not actively hurting the team, even when they lose. Great quarterbacks can put a team on their back, but bad ones can put their team on the ground. Taylor is clearly somewhere in the middle, but for most of the year he’s been closer to the former than the latter. He’s also shown an improvement this season, not necessarily evolving to a pure pocket passer but often more aware of what’s going on around him and more willing to use his legs in the pocket than simply taking off to run. It remains to be seen whether the addition of Kelvin Benjamin is going to push his game to the next level, but so far this year he’s been a quality quarterback.
DT Kyle Williams
Finally, it’s always good to look to locker room leadership when a team exceeds expectations, and for that we need go no further than defensive tackle Kyle Williams. The 34-year-old is not the force on the field that he was in his heyday when he was a lock for the Pro Bowl every year, but he’s still playing about three quarters of the team’s defensive snaps and coming up with tackles around the line of scrimmage (18 so far this year). More importantly, though, is what he means to the team off the field. In his 12th season with the team, he has 25 more starts than any Bills player during the playoff drought heading into Thursday Night Football against the New York Jets. He’s a powerful motivating force for the players, and even McDermott sees him as an irreplaceable figure.
So, there are your candidates. Comments? Concerns? Alternatives? Go ahead and let us know what you think in the comments section.
Who is the midseason MVP for the 2017 Buffalo Bills?
This poll is closed
Screw the rules, it’s Sean McDermott