For the Bills, there is only one more step. They have been, arguably the best team in the league in each of the last three seasons. But, much like their 1990s ancestors, they keep falling in the late season hurdles, even if it isn’t quite the last hurdle of the early nineties. Now it is all about delivering and so this team is all about evolution, rather than revolution.
The majority of the big names are back, with some uncertainty around Von Miller’s health, as well as losing some depth in the skill positions at receiver and running back. With some uncertainty around the future of Stefon Diggs, how crucial will that turn out to be?
Off the field, the Bills have decided to move on from Leslie Frazier, with Sean McDermott expected to take on more responsibility for the defence, with Ken Dorsey remaining as Offensive Coordinator for a second year.
2023 Bills Schedule
- Week 1: @ New York Jets
- Week 2: v Las Vegas
- Week 3: @ Washington
- Week 4: v Miami
- Week 5: v Jacksonville
- Week 6: v New York Giants
- Week 7: @ New England
- Week 8: v Tampa Bay
- Week 9: @ Cincinnati
- Week 10: v Denver
- Week 11: v New York Jets
- Week 12: @ Philadelphia
- Week 13: Bye
- Week 14: @ Kansas City
- Week 15: v Dallas
- Week 16:@ Los Angeles Chargers
- Week 17: v New England
- Week 18: @ Miami
GM: Brandon Beane
HC: Sean McDermott
OC: Ken Dorsey
ST: Matthew Smiley
Via Trade – None
Free Agents –
Connor McGovern (OG), Taylor Rapp (S), Shaq Lawson (Edge), Deonte Harty (WR), Andy Isabella (WR), Cameron Dantzler (CB), Kyron Brown (CB), Darrynton Evans (RB), Jace Sternberger (TE), Leonard Floyd (OLB), Greg van Roten (T), Shane Ray (OLB), Poona Ford (DE) & Latavius Murray (RB)
- Round 1, Pick 25 – Dalton Kincaid , TE | Utah
- Round 2, Pick 59 – O’Cyrus Torrence, G | Florida
- Round 3, Pick 91 – Dorian Williams, LB, Tulane
- Round 5, Pick 150 – Justin Shorter, WR, Florida
- Round 6, Pick 200 – Scott Matlock, DT, Boise State
- Round 7, Pick 230 – Nick Broeker, G, Ole Miss
- Round 7, Pick 252 – Alex Austin, CB, Oregon State
Tremaine Edmunds (LB), Devin Singletary (RB), Jamison Crowder (WR), Isaiah McKenzie (WR), Shaq Lawson (DE), Jordan Phillips (DE), David Quessenberry (RT) & Tyrel Dodson (LB)
QB – Josh Allen
RB – James Cook
WR – Gabe Davis, Stefon Diggs & Trent Sherfield
TE – Dawson Knox
OL – Dion Dawkins, Connor McGovern, Mitch Morse, Ryan Bates & Spencer Brown
DL – Greg Rousseau, Daquan Jones, Ed Oliver & Von Miller
LB – Matt Milano & Terrel Bernard
Secondary – Tre’Davious White, Jordan Poyer, Micah Hyde, Kaiir Elam, Taron Johnson
The team have added some depth in the likes of rookie Justin Shorter and Deonte Harty but there is a severe dropoff after Buffalo’s top two receivers. Josh Allen was sacked the most since 2019 (33 times), with no significant changes to bolster an average unit. The defensive backfield looks slightly vulnerable, with Micah Hyde pairing with Jordan Poyer. Finally, the edge pressure has taken a step back, having lost Shaq Lawson & Jordan Phillips, putting added pressure on Von Miller to perform.
While the Bills do have some weaknesses, they are at worst good in all positions, making them a very tough team to stop, certainly until January.
2023 Star Player
Of course, the team runs through Josh Allen’s career arc. Beyond that though, Matt Milano is the man that runs the team. He is the key cog for the defence, with 99 tackles and five turnovers last season. He added 1.5 sacks and seven QB hits to his coverage responsibility. In an ensemble cast, Milano is the man with his head just above the parapet.
2023 Breakout Player
Sophomore James Cook has a lot on his shoulders this year. Having lost Devin Singletary already, Nyheim Hynes now looks set to miss the season, leaving a backfield of mediocrity behind Cook. The Georgia alum had 500 yards and two TDs as a rookie. Can he push towards 1000 yards as the team look to take the load off Josh Allen?
Bills Season Expectations
It’s Super Bowl or bust for the Bills. That puts a lot of pressure on a team that already has a challenging division to contend with. With more churn than desired around bit-part contributors, can the new faces replicate or ideally improve the production levels of 2022? Despite the young faces on the team, this has the feel of the last ride for this group.
Can they make it count and win the elusive Lombardi trophy? Sadly, in such a crowded AFC field, it may be just a step too much, particular if the Bills are wounded throughout the season by tough division battles, both literally and figuratively. In a game of such fine margins, earning the division title and a bye will be critical, especially with the homefield advantage of Orchard Park in January. Maybe the tough division will make them battle-hardened but I suspect it will leave them falling just short when they come face to face with the AFC powerhouses in the playoffs.