In search of their first playoff victory since 1995, the Buffalo Bills are primed to make the playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time since 1998 and 1999. Last season, the Bills won their first three games of the season and jumped out to a 5-1 start.
However, Buffalo did not finish the season well, though, as the Bills dropped their Week 16 contest to the New England Patriots, 24-17. After giving the stars a rest in Week 17, the Bills lost in the Wild Card Round to the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium in Texas. With Stefon Diggs joining the team, Josh Allen and the Bills hope that receivers Diggs and John Brown can give the team a much-needed offensive boost in 2020.
Read Also: New England Patriots Predictions and Odds
2020 Bills Draft Picks
A.J. Epenesa, DE (Iowa)
Zack Moss, RB (Utah)
Gabriel Davis, WR (UCF)
Jake Fromm, QB (Georgia)
Tyler Bass, K (Georgia Southern)
Isaiah Hodgins, WR (Oregon State)
Dane Jackson, CB (Pittsburgh)
Notable Other New Faces for the Bills
Taiwan Jones, RB/KR
Stefon Diggs, WR
Vernon Butler, DT
Mario Addison, DE
Quinton Jefferson, DE
A.J. Klein, ILB
Josh Norman, CB
Notable Bills in New Places
Frank Gore, RB – New York Jets
Robert Foster, WR – Green Bay Packers
Zay Jones, WR – Las Vegas Raiders
Jordan Phillips, DT – Arizona Cardinals
Shaq Lawson, DE – Miami Dolphins
Kevin Johnson, CB – Cleveland Browns
Steven Hauschka, K – released
Notable Bills on the Injury Report
Taiwan Jones, RB/KR – questionable for Week 1 with a knee injury
Isaiah Hodgins, WR – placed on injury reserve with a shoulder injury; eligible for Week 4 return
Jon Feliciano, RG – placed on injury reserve with torn pectoral muscle; eligible for Week 4 return
Quinton Jefferson, DE – questionable for Week 1 with an illness
Levi Wallace, CB – questionable for Week 1 with a knee injury
Josh Norman, CB – questionable for Week 1 with a hamstring injury
Bills Who Have Opted Out of 2020 NFL Season
Star Lotulelei, DT
E.J. Gaines, CB
Bills Offense Predictions
Josh Allen enters his third season as the Bills starting quarterback after being drafted No. 7 overall in the 2018 draft. He posted a 5-6 record in his rookie year and doubled his win total in his second NFL year. Last season, Allen impressed throughout most of the year, as he led the NFL with five game-winning drives.
Also, he led all quarterbacks with nine rushing touchdowns in 2019. Before the 2020 season, Josh Allen noted that he hopes to run less often this year, which may mean that he will keep up with his health, stamina, and throwing accuracy throughout the long season.
Allen has had the same left tackle blocking on his blind side during his NFL career. That man is Dion Dawkins, who agreed to a four-year, $60 million extension through 2024. The Bills solidified their offensive line with a one-year, $3 million contract for veteran Brian Winters at the right guard. He is replacing Jon Feliciano, who has been placed on injured reserve. Mitch Morse enters his second season as the Bills center after covering the same position in Kansas City for four years.
Bills Running Backs: Will Zack Moss Finish the Season as the Lead Back?
Devin Singletary, Zack Moss, and consummate backup T.J. Yeldon enter 2020 as the Bills running back group. In 2019, Singletary stole the show from Frank Gore. Singletary had at least 15 carries from Week 11 to 16, as he went for a team-leading 775 rushing yards in 2019. With Gore heading to the New York Jets, Singletary may take on a larger role in 2020. Moss may end up being the third-down back for Buffalo and could assume more carries if Singletary continues the fumbling issues that he displayed in training camp. Last year, Singletary and Gore scored two rushing touchdowns, and Singletary added in two receiving touchdowns. Josh Allen seemed to be the best rusher for the Bills last season, as he ran for 510 yards and nine touchdowns.
Bills Wide Receivers: Is Stefon Diggs Going to Produce as the No. 1 Receiver in Buffalo?
In May, the Bills acquired Stefon Diggs in a blockbuster trade that involved several draft selections: Buffalo received a 2020 seventh-round pick from the Minnesota Vikings while the Bills sent their first-round selection in 2020 as well as three other picks.
Many Bills fans are hoping for Diggs to top 1,000 yards for the third consecutive season. John Brown led the Bills in receiving yards and yards per target last year, and he returns to the team as the No. 2 receiver for the upcoming season. Buffalo’s fourth-round selection Gabriel Davis will battle veteran receiver Cole Beasley for playing time at the position as well.
Bills Tight Ends: Can Dawson Knox Avoid a Sophomore Slump?
As Dawson Knox enters his second NFL season, he is ready to make a jump after he was not highlighted much as a part of the Bills last year. Knox, Buffalo’s No. 96 selection in 2019’s draft, has improved during camp. Knox will also hope to increase his number of receptions (28) and receiving yards (388) in 2020. He and his backup, Tyler Kroft, may continue to be used for blocking during the upcoming season, as they combined for just three touchdowns last year.
Read Also: Miami Dolphins Predictions and Odds
Bills Defense Predictions
In 2019, the Bills had one of the best defenses, and they come back hoping to be even better this season. In early September, the Bills made Tre’Davious White the highest-paid cornerback in the league with a four-year, $70 million contract that guarantees him $55. White enters his fourth NFL season in 2020, and he tied for the NFL lead with six interceptions last year. In 2019, he also made his first Pro Bowl and First-Team All-Pro.
The Bills also signed cornerbacks Levi Wallace and Josh Norman to one-year deals during the offseason. Unfortunately, they both are battling injuries, and if Wallace’s knee injury and Norman’s hamstring injury do not improve, Buffalo will have to find some cornerbacks to help White.
Buffalo is lucky not to have many injuries for the rest of the defense, but third-year cornerbacks Taron Johnson and Siran Neal will have to step up. Neal was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list in August. Bills fans hope that the injury bug stops hampering the Buffalo secondary.
In last year’s playoffs, the Bills jumped out to a 16-0 lead after they shut out the Texans in the first half. However, Buffalo’s defense allowed multiple touchdowns and two-point conversions and lost, 22-19, in overtime. If the team’s offense improves this upcoming season and the Bills continue to have a strong defense, 2020 should be a successful year.
Read Also: New York Jets Predictions and Odds
Bills Special Teams Predictions
Tyler Bass has won the team’s starting kicker spot, and Bills have released veteran Steven Hauschka. The Bills tried out three kickers in addition to Bass and Hauschka but landed on Bass as their guy. Bass comes out of Georgia Southern from the Sun Belt Conference. In 2019, the Georgia Southern Eagles went 7-6. Bass made 20 of his 28 field goal attempts (71 percent) but was a perfect 36-for-36 on extra points. Bass had missed just six field goals combined in his previous two seasons.
If Bass struggles out of the gate, Buffalo may consider bringing back Hauschka, who has yet to sign with a new team. The 35-year-old Hauschka owns the 12th-best field goal percentage in NFL history, and he played the previous three seasons with Buffalo. After being successful with 88 percent of his field goals in his first season with the Bills, he dipped to 79 percent in the last two seasons. Among seasons in which Hauschka played double-digit NFL games, these were his worst field goal kicking years.
Bills Head Coach Predictions
During the offseason, the Bills signed head coach Sean McDermott to a four-year extension. He enters his fourth season as an NFL head coach, as his career regular-season record is 25-23 with Buffalo. McDermott’s new contract is through 2025, as he is looking for his first playoff victory. In 2019, the 46-year-old head coach improved with his challenges: he won two of his five challenges after winning just one in his first two seasons.
Before McDermott joined the Bills, he was the defensive coordinator for Ron Rivera’s Carolina Panthers. In 2015, McDermott was an essential part of Carolina’s Super Bowl run. Unfortunately, the Panthers fell short in the Super Bowl. McDermott also is a part of Andy Reid’s coaching tree, and while they were with the Philadelphia Eagles, they again fell short in the Super Bowl. In Week 6 of 2020, McDermott’s Bills will be hosting Reid’s defending champion Kansas City Chiefs in what expects to be a tremendous matchup.
Bills Predictions for Week 1
With McDermott as the head coach, a strong start has been essential for success throughout the season. In 2019, Buffalo played very well early on in the season and had multiple three-game winning streaks. The first winning streak stopped when Josh Allen had a career-worst three interceptions. In his career, the Bills are 1-6 when Allen has multiple interceptions. If the Bills want to see success this season and in Week 1 against the visiting New York Jets, Allen and the offense will have to be on point.
Last year, the Bills opened the season by defeating the Jets, 17-16. McDermott will take on Sam Darnold, Adam Gase, and the Jets again in Week 1 in 2020. Last year, the Bills scored 17 unanswered points in the victory and outscored the Jets, 14-0, in the game’s final quarter. Buffalo outrushed New York, 128-68, in the victory. Allen lost two fumbles, but the Bills were able to survive four total team turnovers and win.
Bills Predictions for 2020 Season
Buffalo’s 10-6 season in 2019 was the team’s first double-digit win year since Doug Flutie’s Bills in 1999. The 2020 over/under for the Bills is nine wins. In two of McDermott’s three years as the team’s head coach, the Bills have had at least nine wins. It may be difficult to say that the Bills will win at least ten games again this season, but Tom Brady will no longer dominate the AFC East. With the future Hall of Fame quarterback now in the NFC and the Bills now the favorite to win the division, Buffalo’s +3000 Super Bowl futures bet can be a strong value pick.
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