TDT NFL Power Rankings No. 23: Buffalo Bills
The 2017-18 NFL season will be one of transition for the Bills, but they should at least be competitive.
The Buffalo Bills haven’t enjoyed much regular season success since the 90’s, as evidenced by their 17-year playoff drought. They have gotten pretty close, but no cigar. The Bills brass is hoping their fortune will change in 2017. They fired Rex Ryan and general manager Doug Whaley in the offseason. They brought in former Eagles and Panthers defensive coordinator, Sean McDermott, to take over the coaching reigns. But, does he have enough talent on his roster to get over the hump?
What I Like: With McDermott now in town, Buffalo will shift back to the 4-3 defensive scheme which had proven to work for them in the past before Rex Ryan got rid of it. It plays to the strengths of this unit, which is the defensive line, featuring Jerry Hughes, Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Shaq Lawson. This may even provide more opportunities for last season’s breakthrough star, Lorenzo Alexander, to shine from his linebacker position.
What I Don’t Like: The Bills secondary is one big question mark. They lost three key contributors from a season ago in Stephon Gilmore, Aaron Williams and Corey Graham. They will most likely have Ronald Darby and first-round pick Tre’Davious White starting at corner, so White will have get adjusted quickly. Safety will certainly be a weak spot, with Micah Hyde being the most proven player at the position.
Offensive MVP: RB LeSean McCoy Shady McCoy is coming off of his fifth Pro Bowl appearance, in a season where he rushed for 1,267 yards and 13 touchdowns. Not only is McCoy a threat running the ball, but he’s also extremely dangerous as a pass-catcher. In 2016, he caught 50 passes for nearly 400 yards. His health will have a significant effect on the Bills chances this season.
Defensive MVP: DE Jerry Hughes Hughes was a stud in his first two seasons in Buffalo, recording 10 sacks in each of those seasons. But, those numbers took a dip in the two seasons that would follow. I think this will be a bounce back year for him, as having four guys rush the passer, will open up more one-on-one’s in McDermott’s system.
Season Outlook: Just because the Bills made coaching and management changes, doesn’t mean we will see immediate results. It will most likely take a year or two to get them back to the playoffs, but there should be some positive signs to build on. This is a big year for Tyrod Taylor, who is looking to back up that new contract he got this offseason. If the team stays healthy, they could contend for a Wild Card spot, but that’s a big if.
8-8, 3rd in AFC East