1. CBS Sports: Is Josh Allen about to enjoy an MVP season?
In 2020, the Bills won the AFC East for the first time since the 1995 season. This season, the AFC East has become more competitive with the additions made by each team through free agency and the draft. CBS Sports NFL writer Tyler Sullivan discussed the burning questions surrounding the AFC East and the four key storylines for this division entering the 2021 season. For the Bills, Sullivan wonders if Josh Allen will have an MVP-type season and continue his upward trend throughout his career.
Bills: Is Josh Allen about to enjoy an MVP season?
Josh Allen enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2020 and was already creeping into the MVP discussion last year. He really put an exclamation point on his third year in the league over his final five games where he completed 70.1% of his passes, averaged 303.2 passing yards per game, and had 15 touchdowns to just two interceptions. He also rushed for two more scores and had Buffalo finish with a 5-0 record over that stretch. Those are just absurd, video game-like numbers from the Bills quarterback, and if he carries that momentum into 2021, he'll be looked at as a clear front-runner for MVP.
Already, Allen is viewed as one of the favorites to go home with the award. William Hill Sportsbook has him with the third-best odds of winning MVP at +1300 and is only looking up to the reigning NFL MVP in Aaron Rodgers (+700) and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (+550).
Buffalo brought back a number of key free agents this offseason and added receiver Emmanuel Sanders into the fold to pair with Stefon Diggs and the rest of the Bills pass-catching unit. That continuity should allow Allen and Co. to hit the ground running in 2021, setting himself up for individual success along with a potential Super Bowl run for the Bills.
2. ESPN's Dan Graziano picks Bills as Super Bowl LVI Champions
After the 2021 schedule was released, the writers and analysts at ESPN answered many questions about their favorite game of the upcoming season, most intriguing rookie debut and even their early picks for who will be playing in Super Bowl LVI. NFL writer Jeremy Fowler selected the Packers over the Bills, but NFL writer Dan Graziano picked the Bills over the Rams for his Super Bowl matchup.
Graziano: Bills over Rams.
I have no idea who to pick in the NFC, but I don't want to pick the Bucs because I don't believe in repeats in this league. The Rams look good, and we'll go with them -- until the next time I'm asked for a pick. But the headline here is the first Super Bowl title in Bills history and a statue for McDermott in Buffalo.
3. Bleacher Report thinks this Bills rookie will have the biggest impact in 2021
Bills rookie minicamp wrapped up over the weekend and it was the first chance to see Buffalo's 2021 rookie class on the practice field. As the rookies start adjusting to life in the NFL, Bleacher Report predicted one from every team that will make the biggest impact this season. For the Bills, writer Alex Kay chose second-round pick Boogie Basham to make the biggest splash this year.
Buffalo Bills: Edge Boogie Basham
The Bills selected a pair of edge-rushers with their first two picks in the 2021 draft, taking Greg Rousseau in the first round and Boogie Basham in the second. While both are projected to eventually play a big role on the aging Buffalo defensive line, Basham is the more pro-ready prospect of the two.
Rousseau, the No. 30 pick, is a prototypical tall and athletic pass-rusher. However, the 6'6", 266-pounder is a late-bloomer at the position, having played safety and wideout for much of his high school career. Miami converted him to a full-time defensive lineman, where he has showed incredible promise and flashes, but he is still relatively raw and inexperienced.
Basham should be a more consistent and reliable edge-rusher for Buffalo in 2021, having dominated during his time at Wake Forest. The 6'3", 281-pounder recorded 28 tackles—5.5 for a loss—five sacks and a forced fumble in just seven games last year. His ceiling isn't nearly as high as Rousseau's, but Basham has the experience, frame and strength to be an immediate contributor for the Bills as a rookie.
Expect Basham to log far more snaps than his first-round counterpart in 2021, establishing himself as one of the NFL's better young defensive linemen.