The Buffalo Bills path to the top of the AFC just got a lot harder over the past few weeks. Since the start of free agency, several big-name quarterbacks and playmakers have swapped conferences to provide what should be an incredibly competitive battle for AFC supremacy. The Buffalo Bills need some real offensive firepower to keep up with these fellow juggernauts, and Gabriel Davis appears to be a huge part of the team’s success.
Gabriel Davis Crucial To Buffalo Bills Success in 2022
Ever since he came into the league, the Bills have done everything in their power to surround Josh Allen with as many offensive weapons as humanly possible. While the Stefon Diggs trade obviously takes the cake, the team has also brought in Josh Brown, Cole Beasley, and Emmanuel Sanders to serve as reliable veteran security blankets.
However, that doesn’t appear to be happening this year. The team parted ways with Cole Beasley, replacing him with a much more cost-effective option in Jamison Crowder, and has not shown any interest in re-signing Emmanuel Sanders.
While free agency isn’t over, most of the big-name free agents have already found a new home. Any player they add at this point in time is likely to just be a depth option, rather than a crucial part of the offense.
Buffalo throws the ball more than just about any other team in the league, which means that the wide receivers will play a big role in the success of the team. If this offense is to realize its full potential and keep up with the other great teams in the conference, they will need Gabriel Davis to have a breakout season.
Is Gabriel Davis Up For the Task?
Gabriel Davis has shown flashes of brilliance throughout his first two years in the league. As a rookie, the former fourth-round pick saw the field primarily in relief of an injured John Brown. While on the field, the rookie recorded a respectable 35 receptions for 599 yards and seven touchdowns on 62 targets.
He followed this up in 2021 by recording 35 receptions for 549 yards and six touchdowns. He also averaged 1.93 yards per route run, good for 34th best in the league. Ultimately, from a statistical standpoint, Davis had a decent season but never took the proverbial next step during the regular season.
However, all memories of underwhelming play vanished in the postseason. During Buffalo’s 42-36 shootout with the Kansas City Chiefs, Davis recorded a staggering eight receptions for 201 yards and four touchdowns.
This route by Gabriel Davis, oh my god. pic.twitter.com/23TJSfGpGZ
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) January 24, 2022
Needless to say, Gabriel Davis is not going to put up that type of performance on a regular basis – quite literally nobody is capable of that. However, if the Bills believe that this could be a sign of things to come, then it would explain why Buffalo hasn’t added an outside receiver.
Buffalo’s front office is one of the best in the league when it comes to evaluating and identifying talent. If they truly believe that Davis has what it takes to be the WR2 in an elite passing offense, then they’re probably right.
For what it’s worth, Pro Football Focus also believes Davis was better than the raw numbers would suggest. According to their grading, Davis finished the year as the 10th best wide receiver in football, sandwiched right between Tee Higgins and Chris Godwin. His grade might go down with more volume, but the fact remains that Davis is ready for a third-year breakout.
Embed from Getty Images