1. NFL.com’s Adam Schein makes this prediction for Buffalo’s 2019 season
In the spirit of March Madness and the Sweet 16, NFL.com columnist Adam Schein highlighted 16 teams to spotlight for the 2019 NFL season. He took eight teams from the AFC and eight teams from the NFC and placed them just like they would in the playoff race. The four division winners are at the top, two wildcards and then two teams on the bubble. A year after going 6-10, Buffalo is right back on the bubble to getting back to the playoffs.
Buffalo Bills: I'm loving the makeup of this squad. The offensive line is revamped, with C Mitch Morse and OT Ty Nsekhe joining the fray. The receiver position actually has some juice, with the additions of John Brown and Cole Beasley. How much will all of this help second-year QB Josh Allen, a player whose star power I firmly believe in? Lastly, Sean McDermott's stamp is all over this defense, which quietly finished last season at No. 2 in total D.
Buffalo is the number seven team in the AFC for the writeup and sit in the first bubble spot right behind Jacksonville who’s acquisition of Nick Foles put them over the top. Still things could change in the rankings with the NFL draft coming up and changing the hierarchy of teams in the AFC.
2. Robert Foster one of the best deep threats
From the eye test alone, you can see that Robert Foster is always heading downfield. The rookie and quarterback Josh Allen bonded at the beginning of training camp when they both took second-team reps and developed their chemistry. When Foster found his way into the starting lineup he also found his chemistry with Allen.
Allen, who slings the ball downfield as often as any other quarterback, connected with Foster and Foster averaged the highest average depth of target and second highest average yards per target among players with 30 or more targets in 2018, according to Pro Football Focus.
Foster finished with a 20.95 yard average depth of target. Desean Jackson was second with 19.58 yards. Foster also finished with 12.30 average yards per target, good for second. Tyler Lockett finished first with 14.95. Foster was the only player in the top 10 of both lists.
3. NFL owners vote to eliminate blindside blocks
NFL owners voted to eliminate the type of hits that injured kicker Stephen Hauschka in Week 14 of the season. In an effort to make the game safer owners eliminated blindside blocks and will start in 2019. A forcible hit or contact from a players head, shoulder or forearm will be prohibited.
The NFL Football Operations twitter account released a video clarifying the new rule.
Bills fans saw their top kicker Hauschka suffer a hip injury on a blindside kick from the New York Jets’ Henry Anderson. Hauschka was away from the play and was oblivious to the impending hit from Anderson. There was no flag thrown on the play.
“It’s a shame that Stephen Hauschka took the hit he did,” said head coach Sean McDermott during the 2018 season. “There’s no place in our game for plays like that.”
Anderson had a different take on the play saying that if was really trying to hurt Hauschka then he could have put a lot more force into the hit. He understood Bills fans’ anger but it was within the rulebook.
If that hit were to occur this season it would be a penalty with the rule change.