High postseason grades, multiple top-five power rankings spots, four prime time games and more. This is the world Bills Mafia lives in today. Ask fans their thoughts on this a few years ago and answers would be quite different. Regardless, here come the Buffalo Bills. As record predictions enter the conversation, many national media members believe the Bills could have double digit wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1998 and 1999.
1. USA Today thinks the Bills will finish 10-6
USA Today sees 10 wins and an AFC East title for the Bills due to their offensive additions and easy start to the season.
Buffalo Bills (10-6): With Brady gone and their first four games against 2019 non-playoff teams, they appear primed to win the division for the first time since 1995. Diggs' arrival came at a high cost, but he and rookie RB Zack Moss could elevate this offense.
2. Bleacher Report sees a 10-6 season for Bills
Even though Bleacher Report thinks the Bills have the easiest schedule in the AFC East, B/R is eyeing a 10-win season for the Bills due to their strength of schedule.
The Buffalo Bills enter the 2020 season as something they haven't been since the "K-Gun" days of Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed in the 1990s: the favorites to win the AFC East.
But to be the best, you have to beat the best. And after losing both meetings against the New England Patriots in 2019, the pressure will be on the Bills when they first meet the Pats in Buffalo in Week 8.
That pressure is going to stay on Buffalo for much of the season. The Bills have the easiest schedule in the division, but with two games against the Pats, home tilts with Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks and trips to San Francisco and Tennessee all on the slate, the Bills are tied for the league's fifth-hardest schedule in 2020.
3. Howard Simon believes Buffalo is a 12-win team
WGR’s Howard Simon predicts the Bills will win 12 games this season which includes two wins against the Patriots. Simon thinks Buffalo will fall to the Titans, Chiefs, Seahawks and 49ers.
"Maybe I'm expecting too big of a drop from New England," Simon said. "But my goodness if Jarrett Stidham is the guy and they're playing a full season with him, the Bills should be able to beat a Jarrett Stidhman led New England Patriots football team, even with Belichick."
Simon thinks 12 wins won't be enough for the one-seed and a bye. He thinks the Chiefs may have 12 wins as well and the tie-breaker could be the loss to Kansas City during the regular season.
4. Sporting News predicts an 11-5 record for Buffalo
Facing the fifth toughest schedule, Sporting News predicts 11 wins for the Bills. Sporting News' Vinnie Iyer thinks Buffalo will have to sweep the Jets and Dolphins while splitting games against the Patriots to have a chance at the playoffs.
Bills Mafia may not have the same influence on the season, but there's reason for the fans to feel confident that the recent better days for their team aren't fluky. Should Allen take the next step as a passer and runner, there are few limitations for the offense. The defense has a steady floor and a spectacular ceiling. The strong coaching is evident, too.
When weighing their blend of upgraded talent vs. other teams, the Bills will remain a top-10 club. Just how high depends on Allen's play.
Record prediction: 11-5
5. CBS Sports eyes a 9-7 season for Buffalo
CBS Sports' model picks Buffalo to win nine games, but those nine wins will tie with the Patriots.
One of the 2020 NFL picks the model is recommending: Go under nine wins for the New England Patriots. Bill Belichick's days of leading the team to 10 or more victories and multiple AFC East titles could be over after New England said goodbye to legendary quarterback Tom Brady, who departed after 20 years for sunnier skies in Tampa Bay.
With Brady as their starter for 18 of the last 19 seasons, the Patriots hit double-digit wins 17 times and captured the division crown each of those campaigns regardless of the level of talent around him. Now, with very few proven weapons on offense, the quarterback duties will be handled by either an inexperienced youngster in Jarrett Stidham or a veteran journeyman in Brian Hoyer.
The Jets are slated to have six and a half wins. The Dolphins will finish last winning six games.
6. Pro Football Network thinks the Bills will have same record as 2019
Pro Football Network believes the Bills will match last season's win total due to their tough schedule which includes facing last season's Super Bowl contenders.
Buffalo Bills: 10-6
The Buffalo Bills have been building to relevance over for the past three seasons. Then again, they've earned it after being the NFL's most mediocre mess since the post-Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas era.
The pressure will be growing for Josh Allen as he enters the "prove-it" year. He'll have the chance to make the most of his opportunities with four primetime games this season. More importantly, the team will need to beat the best — taking down the likes of Bill Belichick in Weeks 8 and 16.
The schedule definitely doesn't play in their favor. The team will host both Kansas City and Pittsburgh, but a late January game against Miami should help. On the road, an impressive Denver team could halt Buffalo from surpassing the double-digit win market.
7. ESPN thinks the Bills will have a 12-4 record
ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques thinks Buffalo is talented enough to win 12 games this season. Louis-Jacques believes the Bills will drop games to the Titans, Chiefs, Seahawks and 49ers.
With four winnable games in its first four weeks, Buffalo needs to start the season strong because the schedule gets dicey from Week 5 through Week 14 -- a stretch that includes games against the Titans and Chiefs in consecutive weeks, the Seahawks, Cardinals, 49ers and Steelers. There are games against the Jets, Patriots and Chargers sprinkled in that stretch -- it's a period of the season that could heavily affect the Bills' playoff chances. At the same time, it will ensure the team is battle-tested by the time January comes about.
8. Touchdown Wire predicts Buffalo will have one more win than 2019
Touchdown Wire is predicting an 11-5 finish for the Bills in 2020 including the AFC East crown.
This feels like the year the Buffalo Bills take over as AFC East champions. Stefon Diggs is a strong addition to a team that is on the improve. Sean McDermott needs to make sure his players focus and don't think the Patriots are going to slip.
9. Fox Sports predicts an 8-8 record
Fox Sports’ Nick Wright thinks the Bills will finish third in the AFC East and miss the playoffs not because of what they lack but because of their tough schedule in the second half of the season.
"Buffalo on the other hand, what I think is going to work against them is their end of season schedule," Wright said. "Week 15 you have to go to Denver and I don't think Denver is going to be a great team but Denver in December. Week 16 they have to go to New England to then set up a home game in Week 17. It will be the 8-7 Bills vs. the 8-7 Dolphins and I believe the Miami Dolphins go from a year we though they were tanking to in the playoffs the following season."