.For the second year in a row, the Buffalo Bills reached the playoffs in the 2019 season after the team’s first ten-win season since 1999. The disappointing loss in Houston that saw them blow a 16-0 lead mean the Bills will look to bounce back heading into next season. Led by head coach Sean Mcdermott and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, the strength once again will be the team’s defense, which ranked 2nd overall in the league last season. After the departure of Tom Brady from the AFC East, the Bills are the odds on favorites by many to capture their first division title in over 20 years, following an offseason that saw them add Stefon Diggs, A.J. Klein, Vernon Butler, and Quinton Jefferson in free agency.
Make sure to check out all of our other team award predictions here.
MVP: Josh Allen
Heading into his third season in the NFL, the spotlight will be on Allen next season. Last season, Allen made improvements from his rookie season, throwing for over 3000 yards and 20 touchdowns while rushing for 500 yards and nine scores. He will need to continue to improve his game in the turnover department as last season, he threw nine interceptions and fumbled 14 times. Heading into next season, the Bills lead the NFL in total team snaps played from 2019, returning in 2020. Along with this, the Bills added wide receiver Stefon Diggs as a true number one target in a revamped receiver room in Buffalo. With the addition of Diggs to go along with Cole Beasley and John Brown, look for Allen to have a breakout campaign in 2020.
Offensive Player: Stefon Diggs
After becoming increasingly frustrated with his role in Minnesota this past season, Diggs will look for a fresh start in Buffalo. Seen by many as one of the best route runners and deep ball targets in football, Diggs caught 63 passes in 2019 for 1,130 yards and six touchdowns. However, it became known to those with the Vikings early on that he was frustrated with the team’s 2-2 start and lack of efficiency on offense.
Looking forward to next season, look for him to surpass these numbers in Buffalo as he becomes the undisputed number one target for quarterback Josh Allen in a Bills offense that looks poised to be among the NFL’s best.
Defensive Player: Tre’Davious White
Already seen by many as a top-three player at his position and one of the best young defensive backs in football, White is a lock for this pick. After a strong first two seasons in the NFL, 2019 was a breakout campaign for White as he recorded 58 tackles, 17 passes defended, and six interceptions. This breakout season earned him his first-ever pro bowl trip along with a vote for the league-wide defensive player of the year. Known for his physicality and strong coverage skills, White is asked weekly to travel with the opposing team’s number one wideout and consistently holds them in check. Look for Tre’Davious to be among the elite defensive players in the NFL once again next season.
Offensive Rookie: Zack Moss
After a four year tenure at the University of Utah, the Bills selected Moss with the 86th pick in the draft. He was one of the hardest backs to tackle in college football. Moss rushed for over 4,000 yards during his tenure with the Utes. He averaged over six yards per carry in his final two seasons. Drawing comparisons to Jordan Howard and Chris Carson for his bruising downhill running style, look for him to create a potent one-two punch with second-year running back Devin Singletary in a revamped backfield in Buffalo.
Defensive Rookie: AJ Epenesa
The Bills were able to land Epenesa in the second round of this year’s draft. Standing at 6’6 and weighing in at 280 pounds, Epenesa is known for his length and exceptional power off the edge. A three-year tenure at the University of Iowa saw him record 26.5 sacks, and 101 tackles in 37 games. Needing an upgrade at edge rusher following the departure of Shaq Lawson to the Miami Dolphins and with Jerry Hughes entering his age thirty-two season, Epenesa will come in and earn significant playing time early on. Featured on a defense with one of the best secondaries and linebacking cores in all of football, look for him to have a strong rookie campaign in Buffalo.
Biggest Surprise: Dawson Knox
After an up and down rookie season in the NFL, which featured highlight-reel moments and bad ones, Knox heads into the 2020 season, looking to become the lead tight end for the Bills. Exemplifying elite athleticism at his position, Knox averaged 13 yards a catch last season. He was one of the best in the game at blocking. Next season, he will need to improve on catching the football. He dropped ten passes last year and finished the season with a 20 percent drop rate. Featured in a Bills passing game that needs playmakers, look for Knox to take the next step. He will become among the elite tight ends in the game next season.
Biggest Disappointment: Josh Norman
Five years removed from an all-pro season in Carolina, Norman reunited with former defensive coordinator Sean Mcdermott in Buffalo this offseason. After signing a mega five year 75 million dollar contract with the Redskins in 2016, Norman failed to live up to expectations in Washington and was released by the team this past offseason. Once known as one of the best man to man shutdown corners in the entire league, he has slowed down significantly. Norman now lacks the agility and speed to keep up with younger receivers as the game becomes faster and faster. This was evident over his final two seasons with the Redskins. Norman allowed 15 touchdowns when targeted. Two more than the 13 he allowed over the first six years of his career.
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