The Buffalo Bills were 13 seconds away from advancing to consecutive AFC championship games for the first time in 30 years. Then the Bills fell apart on defense, squandering the lead and eventually losing in overtime, 42-36, to the Kansas City Chiefs
Regardless of that outcome, Buffalo is in a position where they should be considered a serious Super Bowl contender for the next five years. Buffalo made deals that could pay quick dividends on the field next year., and have also taken steps that make it look like they’re in win-now mode, similar to the LA Rams.
OnWednesday, Buffalo locked up Stefon Diggs on a four-year, $96 million extension. Last summer, Buffalo signed franchise QB Josh Allen to a six-year extension worth $258 million. The Bills also poached two-time Super Bowl winner Von Miller from the Rams with a six-year $120 million deal. Then they made several smaller one and two-year deals with players like TE O.J. Howard, DT Jordan Phillips, DE Shaq Lawson, and WR Jamison Crowder, to name a few.
Already having their QB in place makes it so the Bills can go for broke attempting to win now, knowing their best players are on long-term deals. Andhey’ve surrounded Allen and Diggs with even more weapons in hopes of assuring their dominance heading into next season. Buffalo was third in scoring offense last season at 28.4ppg. They were fifth in total yards averaging about 382ypg.
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Considering some of their free-agent signings, expect the Bills to continue to build on that trend in 2022-23. Adding Howard and Crowder should take some coverage pressure away from Diggs. The same goes for Howard, who will be matched up against linebackers and smaller defensive backs that can’t guard him in the open field. Crowder will see nothing but one-on-one opportunities and, if he can capitalize on them, it should be another high-scoring year in Buffalo.
The draft is also on the horizon for the Bills, giving them another chance to add to the wealth of talent they already have on the roster. A Sports Illustrated mock draft has Buffalo taking defensive players with their first three picks this year. And it’s not like the team lacks on the defensive side of the ball. Last season, Buffalo was the No. 1 scoring defense, giving up just 17ppg. And they picked up Von Miller to rush the passer, as mentioned above. Buffalo could use some depth on the defensive line, so some mock drafts have them selecting a defensive tackle and end with their first and second-round picks.
Winning the AFC East again shouldn’t be an issue for the Bills. Beating the Kansas City Chiefs in the postseason is their primary concern.. If this mock draft holds true, the Bills will draft six defensive players out of their nine picks. Buffalo isn’t doing that in preparation for New England, New York, or Miami. The Bills know they need depth defensively to deal with KC if they cross paths again next postseason. It’s all about beating the Chiefs.
Losing that divisional-round game, the way they lost it, allowing Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to scamper down the field in under 13 seconds, is going to stick with every Buffalo player for a long time. The only way to get that taste out of their mouth is to return next year and repay the favor. How do you do that? Restock, lock and load. The Bills are going all-in. Now they’ve got to execute the plan and get past the Chiefs and back to the Super Bowl.