1. B/R: Bills one of NFL’s most underrated teams
Buffalo’s offseason has been wisely praised by NFL media and analysts from across the country but they still can’t win over Vegas. The Bills currently have 125/1 Super Bowl odds and 6.5 wins by Westgate for the upcoming season.
But, Bleacher Report thinks they will defy both as one of the most underrated teams in the NFL this season.
Quietly, the Buffalo Bills put together one of the league's best offseasons.
The organization didn't make any high-profile moves, but general manager Brandon Beane meticulously attacked each of the team's weaknesses. Specifically, the Bills needed to address the offensive line, skill positions and 3-technique.
Bleacher Report writes Buffalo found “tremendous value” with both of their top picks of Ed Oliver and Cody Ford.
"Long story short, Ford had a real chance to go 11th overall," The MMQB's Albert Breer reported. "He didn't. And he slid all the way into the second round, where Buffalo traded up to get him with the 38th pick."
Buffalo also added a “talent infusion” to skill positions with the additions of Frank Gore, Tyler Kroft, John Brown and Cole Beasley. All of the additions are going to make Josh Allen’s life easier in his second year, writes Bleacher Report.
Even with all the offensive additions it’s important to note that Buffalo returns the number two overall defense in the NFL last season.
2. Do the current Bills have two Hall of Fame running backs?
Only 12 players have rushed for 7,000 career yards or more in their careers and have not been eligible for Hall of Fame voting yet. NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt analyzed the group of 12 and their chances of making it to Canton and receiving a gold jacket.
There are two current Bills running backs who meet Brandt’s requirements. LeSean McCoy and Frank Gore. Each place in the top five for best chance of making it into the hall when their careers end.
McCoy is in the “on the bubble” grouping along with the recently retired Marshawn Lynch and Jamaal Charles. McCoy could firmly be on the top 20 list of all-time rushing leaders when his career ends and only three eligible players on that list, Edgerrin James, Fred Taylor and Corey Dillon are currently not enshrined.
McCoy has played in 147 games, accumulating 2,346 carries for 10,606 yards and 69 touchdowns.
Frank Gore is a lock for the Hall of Fame.
Consistent excellence is what Gore will most be remembered for. The 15th-year pro is the only player in NFL history to have logged 1,200-plus scrimmage yards in 12 consecutive seasons, and he ranks fifth all-time in career yards from scrimmage (18,544). He's also scored five-plus touchdowns in 11 consecutive seasons, which is tied for the best mark in history. He might not have the sizzle to land in Canton as a first-ballot guy, but he's definitely bound to wear a gold jacket someday.
The only other lock on the list is Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson. Peterson is the only other active player in Brandt’s list of 12. In order, Brandt’s list is Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams, DeMarco Murray, Maurice Jones-Drew, Chris Johnson, Steven Jackson, Matt Forte, Lynch, McCoy, Charles, Gore, Peterson.
3. Joe Thomas: Bills can unseat Patriots
Joe Thomas spent 11 years as the anchor of the Cleveland Browns offensive line. He started every game he played in and didn’t miss a game until the final year of his career. A 10 time Pro-Bowler and six-time All-Pro, he thinks Buffalo could be the team to take the AFC East from the Patriots.
“Nobody’s going to unseat the Patriots, but if anyone could do it it’s the Buffalo Bills,” Thomas said. “They attacked their offensive line problem bringing in three solid starters, they drafted Cody Ford who was one of these players I saw at the combine. He’s a guy who can play all three positions on the offensive line. Also he got a couple receivers for their downfield needs with John Brown and Cole Beasley. They attacked their needs and did a really nice job this offseason.”