Buffalo Bills Season Preview

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Ray Burton
Ray writes mostly in-depth analytical pieces covering a range of sports from a more statistical perspective drawing his inspiration from the fanalytics movement. Ray writes on the NFL, Premier League, MLB, NHL, NBA, and NRL.

The Buffalo Bills 2018 season ended with them believing they have found their franchise quarterback in Wyoming’s Josh Allen. Many questions remain for Josh Allen, but it seems the Bills are set on him as their quarterback for the next 10 to 15 years.

Allen didn’t start the season as quarterback for the Bills though as they hoped to ease him into action as the season drew on. However, as Nathan Peterman struggled in the opener against the Ravens, plans quickly changed. After two interceptions from the starter, Allen was in and would start the remaining games when he was fit. Although it wasn’t all plain sailing for the rookie.

In his first start, Allen posted 209 yards, 1 touchdown, and an interception in a 31-20 loss to the San Diego Chargers. This was followed by a win in his second start, with 15 of 22 completions, 164 yards, and 1 touchdown at the Vikings.

Things looked bright for Allen, but then the rookie struggles set in as he failed to throw for more than 90 yards against the Packers or Titans in back-to-back games. In fact, of his 11 games as a starter, Allen would only break the 200-yard passing mark only 6 times. He was also sacked 23 times for a staggering 213 yards.

Allen missed four games in the middle of the season with a UCL injury in his throwing arm suffered in a hit against the Texans. Whilst it seems there is no lingering issue with this it is worth monitoring as this is the ligament in the elbow that can have a serious impact on throwing ability.

Allen’s accuracy was an issue all season, and his first game back against the Jaguars, he completed a season-low as a starter 42.11% of his passes. However, he wasn’t sacked at all in this game.

This became a trend as the season wore on, Allen began to use his athleticism more and broke contain on numerous occasions, rushing for over 100 yards twice, and over 90 yards on another two occasions.

Allen finished as the Buffalo Bills leading rusher, with 631 yards and 8 touchdowns, which while it shows his athletic ability, is also a concern. Running quarterbacks take more hits, and generally, have shorter careers, and have more injuries. 

Whilst this was likely a product of the Bills poor offensive line it is something of a concern. Allen started running a lot more after his injury, so whether this is a coaching decision where they asked him to run more, or a decision to protect himself will be interesting to watch develop.

It was a tough campaign for Josh Allen, but one that shows much promise. However, the Buffalo Bills will be hoping he can improve his accuracy and develop into the true franchise quarterback he has the potential to be.

Free Agent Additions

Cole Beasley – WR

The Bills added the veteran Cowboys receiver to give another consistent pair of hands for second-year quarterback Josh Allen to throw to. Entering his eighth year in the league, Beasley has 319 catches for 3,271 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Tyler Kroft – TE

Another experienced pair of hands, Tyler Kroft is returning from a foot injury that saw him play in only five games in 2018. Unfortunately for the Bills, Kroft has suffered another broken foot in pre-season and may miss some time at the start of the season.

D’haquille Williams – WR

Spencer Long – G

John Brown – WR

Frank Gore – RB

Mitch Morse – C

Jon Feliciano – G

Ty Nsekhe – T

Kevin Johnson – CB

Andre Roberts – WR

LaAdrian Waddle – T

Maurice Alexander – LB

Jake Fisher – TE

EJ Gaines – CB

Senorise Perry – RB

Quinton Spain – G

Eli Harold – DE

TJ Yeldon – RB

Lee Smith – TE

Nico Siragusa – OG

NFL Draft

19Ed OliverDTHouston
238Cody FordGOklahoma
374Devin SingletaryRBFAU
396Dawson KnoxTEOle Miss
5147Vosean JosephLBFlorida
6181Jaquan JohnsonSMiami (FL)
7225Darryl JohnsonDENorth Carolina A&T
7228Tommy SweeneyTEBoston College

Undrafted Free Agents

Tyrel DodsonLBTexas A&M
Cam LewisCBBuffalo
Juwan FoggieLBUNC Charlotte
Tyree JacksonQBBuffalo
David SillsWRWest Virginia
Nick EasleyWRIowa
Chase McLaughlinKIllinois
Blake HanceOLNorthwestern

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