Buffalo Bills: Can 2019 be a Playoff Year?
Two seasons ago, the Buffalo Bills were one of the surprise stories in the National Football League as they made the playoffs for the first time in eighteen seasons with Tyrod Taylor at the helm. Last season ushered in the era of the rookie from the University of Wyoming, Josh Allen. LeSean McCoy is back for another year to carry the rock in Orchard Park, New York. The team finished 6-10, which was third in the AFC East standings.
Can the Bills qualify for the playoffs? As long as the New England Patriots have Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, I cannot envision them, let alone any other AFC East team wrest it away from them. How about as a wild-card team with the competition in the conference? They play well against the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins. Therefore, I think they have a good chance to finish second in the division.
Let’s look at the rest of the landscape in the AFC. The North division looks to be a tough one to call. With the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, and Cleveland Browns in the mix. The West has the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs at the top. The South got tougher with the Jacksonville Jaguars getting Nick Foles. The Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts were playoff teams last year. With only two wild card spots, it is hard to imagine the Bills being one of the best from that list.
Looking at Buffalo, their schedule is daunting. They will close the season with five of the last eight games away from New Era Field. Some of the teams listed were playoff teams last season like the Dallas Cowboys and Patriots. They need to be able to finish off drives with touchdowns against the better teams if they want to compete. Outside of being ninth in the league in the rushing category, the team was not very high in the offensive categories.
I think in year two, Allen will still be prone to making mistakes, and interceptions will be part of what holds this team back. The team needs to play a perfect game by staying ahead of the chains. They need to feed LeSean McCoy to keep the clock running, and stay out of third and long scenarios as much as possible. Both McCoy and Allen must stay healthy, but even so, I do not think the Bills will make the playoffs this campaign as they will finish 7-9. If they can have another good draft or two, they can one day rule the AFC East in the post-Brady era.
Do you think the Buffalo Bills can make the playoffs? Leave a comment below.
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Works cited: NFL app – Buffalo Bills team page (article – Around the NFL “McCoy says Josh Allen ‘looks’ confident”)