NFL writers believe Bills are set up for long-term success
ESPN put together Future Power Rankings of all 32 NFL teams projecting the outlook of each franchise for the next three seasons. The Bills were ranked as the No. 1 team in the NFL for the next three seasons. The roundtable of ESPN writers cited the moves made by Bills' general manager Brandon Beane to upgrade the roster, the hiring of head coach Sean McDermott and successful draft classes as primary reasons for slotting the Bills in the top spot.
Buffalo must elevate the offense with a revamped running game. Quarterback Josh Allen is a great runner but has taken plenty of hits after 422 rushes over four years. Drafting James Cook and signing Duke Johnson should aid the quick passing game by creating favorable matchups out of the backfield. -- ESPN's Jeremy Fowler
Field Yates | ESPN: Josh Allen scariest NFL player to defend
"If we're talking about quarterbacks for 2022, I truly believe there is not a single player that is scarier to defend in the NFL than Josh Allen. Part of this list inherently as humans is going to be based off what we most recently from these players… Josh Allen in his most recent game played arguably a perfect game of football. Now go ahead and tell me they lost the game, I get it… But what Josh Allen can do as a runner, 31 rushing touchdowns in four seasons… I've seen him pick apart defenses with his arm in a way that I don't know what you're supposed to do. At his apex, I believe Josh Allen can be as dominant a player in the NFL as any other in the NFL this year. I am picking him as my MVP for this upcoming season." -- Yates
This feels like one of the most highly anticipated seasons for the Bills since the 1990s, when they won four conference titles in a row -- a feat that has not been accomplished by anyone since. This year, many people have the Bills as the favorites to not only go to the Super Bowl, but win the whole thing.
The Bills went 17 seasons without a playoff berth before Sean McDermott arrived. He ended that drought in his first season on the job. Now they've been to the playoffs in four of the past five seasons. They've been to the AFC title game. Everything has been leading up to this point. There are unlikely to be any more moral victories in Buffalo, no more feel-good moments coming from just making a run. For me, the Bills have to win the Super Bowl for this to feel like a success. Nothing else.
Can Von Miller upgrade the Bills' defense? At the price they paid him, that's the clear, unquestioned expectation. Miller joined a good Rams defense midseason last year and helped raise it to championship-grade quality. Buffalo's defense ranked first in total yards allowed, pass yards allowed, first downs allowed and points allowed. It was among the top 10 in interception rate (third) and sack rate (sixth), too. However, the playoff struggles against the Chiefs proved that more firepower was needed.
Allen, Diggs make PFF's Top 50 NFL Players list
Quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs were listed on Pro Football Focus' top 50 NFL players for the 2022 season. Allen was ranked No. 6 in the league and the third-highest QB. Diggs checked in at No. 38, eighth-best among WRs.
'Diggs justifiably wanted a larger role than he was getting in Minnesota, and now that he's in Buffalo, he has recorded at least 27 more targets than his highest-volume Vikings season in both years with the Bills. He wasn't quite as effective during his second season in Buffalo, but he still caught 10 touchdowns and cut his drop total in half from a year ago.'
Football Outsiders rates Bills' secondary as team's top position group
The Bills' secondary might not compete with Josh Allen or Von Miller for star power, but the group spurred the team's top finish in defensive DVOA in 2021 with versatility and complementary play. Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde earned first- and second-team All-Pro honors and had five interceptions apiece in 2021.
Outside corner Tre'Davious White and slot corner Taron Johnson finished seventh and 12th among qualified cornerbacks with 5.1 and 5.4 yards allowed per target. First-round rookie Kaiir Elam should replace departed free agent Levi Wallace and has better potential with a bigger 6-foot-2 and 195-pound frame. And all told, the Bills allowed just 7.2 yards on deep-pass attempts thrown 16 or more yards in the air in 2021. No other team allowed fewer than 10.0 yards on deep attempts.
Scroll to see photos of the Bills training camp roster.
Kerr ranked the top 10 coach/quarterback combos entering the season. He ranked Sean McDermott & Josh Allen as the fourth-best coach/QB duo:
Allen proved his postseason excellence last year, throwing just 14 incompletions to nine touchdowns. The 149.0 passer rating was the highest for any quarterback in NFL playoff history. He became the first player in NFL history with an 80% completion rate, five passing touchdowns and 50 yards rushing in a game (wild card win over the Patriots). Allen also has five playoff games with 250 passing yards and 50 rushing yards -- the most in NFL history -- and his 106.6 passer rating in the playoffs is the highest in league history.
McDermott takes a lot of criticism, yet he's one of the top coaches in the game. He has four winning seasons in five years with the Bills, compiling a 49-32 record (.605 win percentage) and a 3-4 playoff record. The Bills won consecutive AFC East titles for the first time since 1988-1991 and are one of only three teams to win 10 games and make the playoffs in each of the last three years (Packers and Chiefs are the other two).