The Buffalo Bills had their best season in a couple of decades in 2020 and are returning a bunch of pieces from their run to the AFC Championship game last season. Their mindset is to make it over the mountain and get back to the Super Bowl for the first time since the early 90s, and with all the talent they have returning, it’s not too far-fetched.
13-3, 1st place in AFC East
Points: 23.2 points per game, rank 14th
Yards: 5.5 yards per play, rank 14th
Football Outsiders Ranking: 12th
Points: 29.9 points per game, rank 3rd
Yards: 6.1 yards per play, rank 2nd
Football Outsiders Ranking: 5th
Super Bowl: +1100
AFC/NFC Champion: +500
AFC East: -150
Win Total: 11 (Over -110, Under -110)
The Bills brought back the vast majority of their players back from their best team in years. The on exception would be John Brown getting released, but they brought in a serviceable replacement in Emmanuel Sanders as well as drafting speedster Marquez Stevenson from the University of Houston. They didn’t do much to shore up their backfield though, adding smaller pieces, but the run game struggled last season and will need to take a step forward to make it to the Super Bowl.
Biggest question entering training camp
Where is the run game? Last season Buffalo’s top two backs only combined for six touchdowns and just over 1,000 yards. Quarterback Josh Allen had eight scores on the ground himself.
They’ll also want to find a tight-end option to complement the receiving threats in Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Cole Beasley, and Emmanuel Sanders. If they can find somebody there, then the offense could be unstoppable.
They’ll also be looking to get better in the pass rush up front. The defense is shaky at times and had some of the lowest sack numbers in the league. Their top two defensive linemen had a combined 9.5 sacks last season. The linebackers were solid, but they need more from the front four to consistently compete at a high level against teams like KC or Tennessee.
What needs to happen for the Buffalo Bills to win the Super Bowl?
Allen needs to continue from his breakout season in 2020. He was shaky at best his first two seasons in the league but took the world by storm last year. He needs to continue that for Buffalo to have a chance. The run game also needs to emerge as something they can rely on consistently, which should also help Allen.
The Bills are slated to be one of the best teams in the NFL this season and there’s no reason to believe they won't. Still, getting over the mountain top could be hard if the ground game doesn’t get going.