This season is not how the Buffalo Bills would’ve liked to end it, but the 2022 season is in the books with so much uncertainty going into to next season. Bills finished 14-4 with it’s 3rd straight AFC East title, but all that seemed like a mirage the way they played against the Cincinnati Bengals at home in the Divisional Playoffs. No time to cry over the spilled milk, the Bills have over 20 free agents including Tremaine Edmunds, Jordan Poyer and Devin Singletary to name a few. Rodger Saffold, Jordan Phillips, Shaq Lawson were on one-year deals will they run it back? Bills General Manager Brandon Beane has his hands full this offseason 20 million over the cap and only 5 draft picks. How will he keep this team a contender.
What went wrong?
The regular season ended, where the Bills was basically unbeatable unless they beat themselves. And you can probably say that in a few games…ala Vikings. Again 13 wins a no contest vs Bengals on Monday Night was a preview of the Bills season coming to an end before our eyes. For the third season with so much promise on punching that ticket to the Super Bowl they got punched and never recovered didn’t look like they wanted to recover. Lack of physicality has always been the reason why the Bills get booted from the playoffs and that start from the top. Head Coach Sean McDermott has to put together a more physical gameplan for his players to play with a certain kind of physicality. Playing 7-10 yards off your opponent in the snow on 3rd and 4 isn’t playing with a physical presence. Going 5-wide in the elements isn’t the answer either on the offense of side as well. Ken Dorsey lack of knowing his personnel and playing them to their strengths cost the Bills only putting up a season low 10 points to where they was no.2 in scoring the ball. Leslie Frazier playing with a light box with Bengals missing 3 starting offensive linemen gave up 27 points when they ranked No.2 in points allowed this season. But the Playoffs will expose who you are, and in two playoffs games the Bills this season alone they gave 31 point to a 3rd String QB Skylar Thompson and then 27 points to Joe Burrow & Co. pretty easy. Coach Dorsey inexperience wasn’t able to coach his team back into the game down 14-0 early even when the defense got some stops Bills couldn’t capitalize. These are just some details to pay attention to as the Bills must improve in those areas.
Bills need to make a point of emphasis on running the football. James Cook had a solid rookie season with 507 rushing yards on just 89 carries, and that 5.7 yards per touch. The maturation of Offensive Coordinator Ken Dorsey will be key, yes the Bills was second in the NFL total yards (398) and scoring (28.4) per game. but in the playoffs when it mattered the most the offense was a “no call no show” and we all know what that means, when it happens.
Right now with the Bills being 20 million dollars over the salary cap and over 20 free agents whether it’s restricted/unrestricted and only 5 draft picks to choose from the Bills brass will have it’s hands full. But I am sure GM Brandon Beane will be creative on keeping things intact.