Buffalo Bills fans: The prospect of reaching the playoffs for the first time in the 21st century grew even brighter as the Carolina pipeline spit out more help, this time in the form of WR Kelvin Benjamin, who addresse one of the few glaring deficiencies of a Bills roster that's mostly devoid of holes.
Tyrod Taylor: A go-for-it move by the Bills at the deadline. They acquire Kelvin Benjamin from the Panthers, giving Taylor a true No. 1 wide receiver and rewarding their roster for its 5-2 start with a move that's sure to energize a group of players used to seeing veterans heading out the door. Buffalo running backs have more catches (47) this season than their wide receivers do (45), and Bills wideouts rank last in the league in both catches and yards. They traded Sammy Watkins in the preseason and needed a top wideout. Taylor and the run game have been good, but this elevates the potential of the passing game as the Bills try to run down the Patriots and end a 17-year playoff drought.
Tyrod Taylor, Bills quarterback: Buffalo has made do in the passing game using journeyman receivers like Deonte Thompson, Brandon Tate and Andre Holmes. Following the acquisition of wideout Kelvin Benjamin from the Panthers, Taylor finally has a solid starting wideout duo in Jordan Matthews and Benjamin. It takes pressure off struggling rookie Zay Jones and could make the Bills difficult to defend in the red zone, especially when injured tight end Charles Clay comes back.
Bills fans: It's time to start believing that this is the team that can end Buffalo's long playoff drought. The trade for Benjamin, paired with one of the defining defenses of this season, gives the Bills a great chance at double-digit wins.
Winner: Tyrod Taylor
… Benjamin, who new GM Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott know well from their time together in Carolina, might not be a cure-all for the team's underwhelming passing attack—but he gives Taylor another big body in the red zone and a weapon over the middle on third down. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound playmaker comes relatively cheap, too—Buffalo's only giving up third- and seventh-round picks to complete the trade, and will just have to pay what's left of Benjamin's $1 million base salary this year before his $8.46 million fifth-year option hits the books next season.