Pro Football Focus (PFF) just released a new mock season simulator and I thought it would be fun to take it for a spin to see what the PFF simulator thinks is in store for the Buffalo Bills during the 2023 season.
To be clear, these are not my predictions — simply a fun exercise using PFF’s mock season simulator. Here are the results of the first simulation I did for the Bills’ 2023 season!
The PFF simulator has a cool feature that allows you to look at the season statistics for all of the offensive players in the simulated season. So, let’s break the statistics down for each player.
Passing: 413-of-597 (69%) for 5,617 yards (13.6 y/c), 45 TDs / 9 INT
Rushing: 66 attempts for 334 rushing yards (5.1 y/a), 4 TDs
Wow... simulated Josh Allen went off in 2023! With these statistics, it would be hard to imagine a world where he didn’t win the NFL MVP... right? His 5,617 passing yards would be more than 1,000 yards better than his best season (4,544 yards in 2020), and his 69% completion percentage would match his best. His 45 passing TDs would also be a career-best mark and nine interceptions would be a welcome sight for Bills Mafia after he threw 14 and 15 INTs in the past two seasons. It’s interesting to note that almost all of his rushing stats would be cut in half compared to what we’ve seen from Allen in his career to this point. Could this be the year we actually see him run less? This PFF simulation sure thinks so. In conclusion, I think all Bills fans would take these season statistics from Allen in a heartbeat.
93 receptions for 1,361 yards (14.63 y/r), 11 receiving TDs
Diggs is still an alpha wide receiver. These numbers would represent a slight downtick in receptions and yards from 2022, but they still reflect the elite NFL WR that Diggs is. A few more seasons of Allen and Diggs putting up these stats together will have the pair in the conversation for the best Bills QB-WR duo of all time.
77 receptions for 1,216 yards (15.8 y/r), 10 receiving TDs
This is the Gabe Davis that Bills Mafia waited to see all of last season. A giant breakout season from Davis is certainly realistic. The only problem is if the Bills don’t extend Davis before a breakout season, they’ll likely be priced out of his free-agent market.
47 receptions for 534 yards (11.4 y/r), 2 receiving TDs
This is about the production I would expect from Harty in 2023. He has the potential to increase these numbers, but I expect him to be somewhere within this range.
29 receptions for 411 yards (14.2 y/r), 3 receiving TDs
I understand that most fans wants the Bills to unleash Shakir into a full-time slot role. But honestly, I think a season like this would be a solid outcome for him. You never know what can happen, but with lots of mouths to feed it will be tough for Shakir to have a “breakout” season.
9 receptions for 153 yards (17 y/r), 2 receiving TDs
Sherfield is a nice depth addition for Buffalo’s receiver group, but I don’t expect him to be a big contributor as a pass catcher. He has special teams value and is a good run blocker. Barring injuries, Sherfield might end up in this statistical range.
39 receptions for 421 yards (10.8 y/r), 4 receiving TDs
These statistics would be somewhat of a letdown for Knox in 2023. It would be his worse season in two years and would likely leave Bills fans wondering why the team paid him so much. I will say Knox offers a lot more value than as just a receiver — he is a solid blocker, has chemistry with Allen, and is a leader in the locker room. A regression in production is likely for Knox, especially since Buffalo just drafted another tight end in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft.
29 receptions for 361 yards (12.45 y/r), 3 receiving TDs
I’d guess that most Bills fans are going to want more out of the 2023 first rounder. But honestly, this might be his floor. I expect Kincaid to have more production than this, and in this hypothetical scenario, it would have to come at the expense of Gabe Davis’ big season.
Rushing: 239 attempts for 959 yards (4.01 y/a), 2 rushing TDs
Receiving: 44 receptions for 621 yards (14.1 y/r), 5 receiving TDs
Meet James Cook, Buffalo’s new RB1. This would be a welcome sight for Bills fans, and just what the doctor ordered for Buffalo’s running back room.
Rushing: 19 attempts for 103 yards (5.42 y/a)
Receiving: 15 receptions for 185 yards (12.33 y/r), 2 receiving TDs
Honestly, I have no clue what to expect with Hines — this guess is as good as any. These numbers would suggest that Buffalo failed to incorporate Hines into their offense effectively. But when James Cook puts up the numbers he did... who cares?
Rushing: 102 attempts for 809 yards (7.93 y/a), 5 rushing TDs
Receiving: 27 receptions for 289 yards (10.7 y/r), 2 receiving TDs
If Harris actually has this type of production, I’d be a little surprised. Look at his yards-per-attempt average! But if Josh Allen runs less and offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey is more committed to the run game in 2023, this is in the realm of possibilities.
PFF 2023 NFL Season Simulator Bills Game Results
With an MVP season by Josh Allen, two 1,000-yard WRs, and a productive James Cook, one would think the Bills should steamroll through their schedule. But this simulation had other ideas. Let's take a peek at the season results:
Notes on game results
- 9-8 likely isn’t going to get the Bills into the playoffs
- 2-4 in the AFC East would be a nightmare scenario
- 0-2 versus the Miami Dolphins hurts to look at
- 27.6 points per game on offense would be Buffalo’s worst output since 2019, but just a slight decrease compared with 2022 (27.7)
- 24.7 points per game allowed on defense would represent Buffalo’s worst mark since 2012
- In this simulation, the Bills lose all three marquee matchups to the Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, and Philadelphia Eagles.
Grain of salt
Remember, this exercise was done in the spirit of fun! Don’t freak out because this is only a hypothetical mock by PFF. As for me, I would take the predicted statistics above any day of the week. However, change that record to 12-5 or 13-4 and you’d of course find me much happier with the outcome. Go ahead and give the PFF game simulator a run for yourself to see if luck favors you in a hypothetical 2023 NFL season for the Buffalo Bills.