Expectations for the 2022 Buffalo Bills are sky-high. Coming off back-to-back AFC East divisional titles, and with many of their core players under contract for next year, the Bills should once again contend for that first Super Bowl title.
Outside of learning from their second consecutive playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Bills have some work to do to fill holes on the roster and improve in key areas. One of the biggest areas that could experience change is in the passing game. Specifically, adding more speed to the wide receivers room.
On the latest episode of the Billieve Podcast, host John Boccacino discusses why it’s important for general manager Brandon Beane to bring in more speed to the wide receiver position, assesses how good Buffalo’s receivers were at yards after the catch (YAC), and speculates on the role Gabriel Davis will play in the offense in 2022.
With Josh Allen at quarterback, the Buffalo Bills have established themselves as one of the best and most dangerous passing attacks in the NFL. But there is one area where Buffalo desperately needs to get better: the speed game. Allen ranked last in the NFL in terms of passing yards coming after the catch.
All told, only 1737 yards (39%) were of the after-the-catch variety, far below the performances of his peers like Patrick Mahomes (55%) and Joe Burrow (48%). One reason for this is the Bills’ receivers value ball security over YAC production.
The Bills finished last in YAC per reception in 2021 (4.3). With the only real speed threat at wide receiver, Isaiah McKenzie, an unrestricted free agent, and with Buffalo’s No. 2 wideout Emmanuel Sanders also an unrestricted free agent, Buffalo’s wide receiver room is going to experience significant changes for the fifth straight offseason.
Boccacino discusses how, throughout the 2021 season, too much of the offense was put on Allen’s shoulders. This offense could potentially take a step forward under new coordinator Ken Dorsey, especially if the receivers and running backs are able to pick up more yardage after the catch. And like Beane told reporters during his season-ending press conference, acquiring additional weapons who can stretch the field or pick up significant yards would be a big boost to the offense.
He also addresses the role and the value Davis brings to the offense as a boundary receiver and makes the pitch for Davis to step up and assume the No. 2 wideout role opposite Pro Bowler Stefon Diggs. Knowing that Beane prefers to bring in a veteran wide receiver with some speed each offseason, he then throws out a few names to watch that would make a great addition to the Bills’ roster this offseason.
Check out the latest Billieve Podcast for Boccacino’s thoughts on why Buffalo needs to add speed to its wide receiver room, why Davis deserves to start outside opposite Diggs, and which veterans could be signed to bring more speed to the wide receiver position, then leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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