1 - Bills will have back-to-back first-round picks
After this weekend’s Wild Card games, the Bills now know where they’ll pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. They’ll have consecutive first-round picks, as they own the 21st and 22nd overall picks.
Head coach, Sean McDermott, mentioned after Sunday’s game that he’ll meet with General Manager, Brandon Beane, to discuss the approach for this offseason.
“Yeah, we’ve got a plan and a calendar that will lay out the offseason for us,” said McDermott. “The biggest thing we want to do is get with Brandon on some things, and make sure that we’ve got a good, solid evaluation of who we are, and what we’ve got to do to improve moving forward.”
In addition to Buffalo’s two first-round picks, they’ll also have a pair of second-round picks. The Bills second-round selection will be 53rd overall. Additionally, they own the Los Angeles Rams second-round pick from the Sammy Watkins trade. That pick will be 56th overall.
The Bills have the 21st pick because they finished with the lowest record of any team eliminated in the Wild Card round. Their 22nd overall pick comes from the Chiefs, who finished with the second-worst record among Wild Card losers. Last April, Kansas City sent Buffalo their first-round pick on draft day.
Buffalo’s future is bright, as they have four picks in the first two rounds. That gives the team options to load up on young talent, or trade some picks and move up in the draft.
The 2018 NFL Draft will take place in Arlington, Texas, and begins on April 26.
“I know Brandon and I will sit down and talk about things as we move forward. Making sure we continue to grow and build on what we did this year,” said McDermott. “Never easy, but we’ll stay on it and continue to pursue our goals for the organization.”
2 - Injuries plagued roster in Sunday’s playoff game**
The Bills couldn’t even finish the game with their starting quarterback as Tyrod Taylor left with a head injury and later entered the concussion protocol. It was the last of a number of injuries the team was dealt on Sunday.
A handful of players were injured in the game and were able to fight through it to return to the field. Charles Clay and Richie Incognito were a couple of examples. But players like Micah Hyde and Taylor weren’t as fortunate.
“I don’t think they (injuries) affected us too much. Obviously, yeah, we’d love to have our starters out there,” said safety Jordan Poyer. “Like I said, Colt [Anderson] came in the game and Shamarko [Thomas] came into the game. They did everything they were asked to do. They made some good tackles and Shamarko made a really nice tackle for a loss. When you have guys like that, who are ready to come in and step up, it’s big for your football team.”
Hyde, who left the game with a head injury, is currently in the concussion protocol. His replacement was Colt Anderson, but when Anderson went down with a shoulder injury, Shamarko Thomas stepped in as the team’s last safety.
Another blow to Buffalo’s secondary was when cornerback, Tre’Davious White, went to the locker room. The team’s potential Defensive Rookie of the Year was dealing with muscle cramps. He was replaced by Lafayette Pitts until he re-entered the game.
The team’s last and scariest injury came with under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Taylor scrambled up the middle for two yards and was driven head-first into the ground by Jacksonville’s Dante Fowler. Taylor didn’t return and is currently in the concussion protocol.
The list of injuries was extensive throughout Buffalo’s playoff game. But the team battled through and kept it a one-score contest all afternoon.
“Yeah, (the reserves) did a good job, they stepped up. They came in and held the fort down, they did, and that’s really been one of the stories of our season,” said head coach Sean McDermott. “It’s that all guys are ready to play. They step in, they step up and I’m extremely proud. I know it burns right now, and it hurts. But I’m extremely proud of every single one of those men in that locker room.”
3 - Buffalo’s opponents for 2018
With the Bills season in the books, we can start looking forward to the 2018 regular season. The team’s 16 opponents for next season have been finalized.
Though the official schedule isn’t released until April, the Bills know who and where they’ll be playing next season.
Obviously, Buffalo will take on each team from the AFC East twice. In addition, they’ll take on the NFC North and AFC South. The two remaining games are decided by their divisional standings.
Here are the teams Buffalo will play on the road:
Green Bay Packers
New England Patriots
New York Jets
Here are the teams who will come to New Era Field in 2018:
Los Angeles Chargers
New England Patriots
New York Jets
The Bills 2018 opponents finished the 2017 regular season with a combined record of 103-115.
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