The Buffalo Bills are in a position to have a season for the ages if NFL games ever kick-off. Of course, in their way is uncertainty, however. If the Bills are going to win the AFC East for the first time since 1995, three players are going to be pivotal to their success.
For this series, we discuss the three most prominent players on each NFL team. In the case of the 2020 Buffalo Bills, the mix of these players’ talent provides a sustainable recipe for success, so long as this group performs at their full potential in 2020.
Three Faces of the 2020 Buffalo Bills
In 2019, Tre’Davious White earned first-team All-Pro honors. He is receiving much of the attention and respect that Stephon Gilmore once coveted as a member of the Bills. With five prime-time games in 2020, White will have his chance, on the big stage, to follow up 2019 with another Pro Bowl campaign. The difference in 2020 however, is the Bills are scheduled to play arguably the best two divisions in the league. White will surely see some of the best receiving corps and quarterbacks the league has to offer this year.
How will he respond? Not only will White be tasked with covering guys like Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins, but he’s going to have to play exceptionally well against them. The Bills are going to rely on White to shut down the opponent’s number one receiver. White’s success last season helped the Bills finish with the second-fewest touchdown passes given up (15) only behind the New England Patriots (13). In their Wild Card match-up, White held Houston Texans wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins, to zero catches in the first half. Hopkins finished the game with six catches for 90 yards and a fumble. White also ended the season without allowing a single touchdown pass in coverage. It doesn’t get any better than that.
In 2020, White will have the opportunity to make the case that he is the best cornerback in the NFL. His All-Pro performance last season set the bar high for his 2020 run. His value to the team makes him an easy selection for one of the faces of the 2020 Buffalo Bills.
The Bills left a lot of points on the board in 2019. Sometimes they even looked completely inept at moving the football. Early in 2019, there were lulls on offense, for quarters at a time; where the team didn’t score for consecutive drives.
For example, against the New York Giants the Bills jumped out to a 14-0 lead. The offense then, however, struggled mightily to consistently move the football at the end of the second quarter and into the third. The Bills immediately found themselves in a ball game when Giants quarterback Eli Manning threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver T.J. Jones to make the score 21-14 Bills, early in the fourth quarter. Ultimately, the Bills never trailed in the game and won, 28-14. But that game left much to be desired from the offense. The next week, the 0-2 Cincinnati Bengals visited Buffalo and that game played out in similar fashion.
Throughout 2019, the Bills offense consistently struggled to produce points. They lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 24-17. Simply, not enough offense. They lost to the New England Patriots, 16-10 and 24-17. Still, just not enough offense. Their inconsistent play on offense led to them losing five one-score games in 2019. Five. The team cannot afford to play with fire that way in 2020. They are going to have to be able to put teams away.
As one of the faces of the Bills, quarterback and team captain Josh Allen will have a lot to do with the Bills improving on offense. Allen will have to display notable improvement himself. Not just decision-making, but with his accuracy and avoiding big hits. He will have to connect on his deep-pass and consistently move the chains on offense for the Bills to have sustainable success in 2020.
Stefon Diggs is a welcomed addition to the Bills franchise. His pedigree accompanied with expectations effortlessly grant him a spot on this list. Diggs is one of the best deep-pass receiving threats in the NFL. And it is well-documented the struggles Josh Allen endured in 2019 connecting on deep-passes. Diggs added to the Bills receiving corp should result in an improved league offensive ranking.
Diggs ranked fourth in the league in yards per reception (17.9). He only caught 63 passes in 2019 but had over 1,100 receiving yards. He is expected to be the missing piece that the Bills have tried to add to their roster since the arrival of Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane in 2017.
Diggs is one of the faces of the Bills because of the impact he is expected to have. He’s already the most talented Bills player on Madden 21. He’s their shiny new toy. How the Bills use Diggs early on should provide fans with an early indication of Allen’s growth and go a long way in sustaining success for the Bills franchise.
Tremaine Edmunds has improved in the last two years as the captain of the Bills defense. He has taken on a leadership role in the locker room and is expected to continue his ascend in 2020. The Bills are relying on Edmunds to remain healthy and continue his production as the depth at middle linebacker for the Bills is thin.
The Bills have the talent on their roster this year to compete for a division title and win playoff games. As faces of the team, the players listed here will have to perform exceptionally well to lead to the Bills to a successful season come 2020.