The Buffalo Bills are primed to take over the AFC East this year.
For so long, saying that felt like an inside joke among Bills fans, something to keep us all sane as we watched Tom Brady and the New England Patriots dominate the division, the conference, and the league for two decades. Now, with Brady having gone south to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Bills seem to have an opening.
Combine that personnel change in Foxborough with the all-in style roster moves the Bills have made this offseason, and what once felt like a pipe dream seems like it could be reality. Not only do Bills fans Billieve that the team is ready to win the division in 2020, but many national outlets are on board, as well.
A quick search of offseason power rankings finds the Bills universally ranked in the top ten after the first wave of free agency. In fact, in the five most recent power rankings released by national outlets the Bills are ranked no lower than ninth and no higher than seventh in every poll.
Mark Schofield at Touchdown Wire has Buffalo ranked at No. 7, the highest of our rankings thus far. He loves the Bills’ biggest addition, a trade for wide receiver Stefon Diggs, noting that Diggs scored more touchdowns on vertical routes (6) than any wideout last season. Josh Allen struggled mightily on those long throws last year, which is curious given his success on them as a rookie and his natural arm talent. Adding Diggs to the squad, Schofield posits, will improve Buffalo’s offense immensely.
Dan Hanzus at NFL.com ranks Buffalo at No. 8 after free agency. He also loves the Stefon Diggs addition, referring to him, John Brown, and Cole Beasley as a solid “big three” at receiver that will combine to help Allen continue to grow as a passer. Hanzus also noted Buffalo’s aggressive moves on defense, complimenting the team for adding Josh Norman, Quinton Jefferson, Vernon Butler, and Mario Addison.
Scott Bair at NBC Sports is the first of our pundits who ranked Buffalo No. 9 overall. He keyed on some familiar themes found in other assessments. People love the Diggs addition on offense, and they also seem to love the addition of Addison to the defensive line. The consistent veteran edge rusher signed a three-year deal just a few weeks ago.
The staff at Fansided ranked Buffalo No. 9, as well, but they also bestowed a pretty heavy compliment onto the Bills’ roster. They wrote that the Bills “continued to build on what could be a championship-level core.” Championship. Level. Core. Those words sound nice when preceded by “the Buffalo Bills,” especially after not having heard that sentence spoken seriously in nearly 30 years. They also noted another common theme: that the Bills are the early front-runners in the AFC East.
Finally, ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques ranked Buffalo at No. 9, saying that the team’s offseason moves have “vault[ed] the Bills to the top of the AFC East totem pole.” Referring to the Diggs trade as “one of the splashiest moves of the offseason,” Louis-Jacques also wrote that the team’s defensive unit should be even better in 2020 than it was in 2019.