With Tom Brady leaving the New England Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Patriots will certainly be less talented going into the 2020 season. Since 2009, the only AFC East champion has been the Patriots, and it looks like that may be change this upcoming season.
With the Patriots losing a lot of key players and the rest of the division improving, I see this being a much more competitive AFC East going forward. After a 10-6 finish last season, I believe the Buffalo Bills will be able to sustain their success and dethrone the New England Patriots in 2020.
Up to this point in the off-season, one of the biggest moves was beyond question the trade for elite receiver Stefon Diggs by the Buffalo Bills. Diggs, who was previously with the Minnesota Vikings for the last five seasons, had been publicly asking for a trade for most of the 2019 season.
The Bills acquired Diggs and a 2020 seventh-round pick for a 2020 first-round pick, a 2020 fifth-round pick, a 2020 sixth-round pick, and a 2021 fourth-round pick. In his five seasons with the Vikings, Diggs had 365 catches for 4,623 yards and 30 touchdowns.
With Stefon Diggs being a part of the Bills offense for the near future, third year quarterback Josh Allen will have plenty of options going into this season. In his first season with the Bills, former Cardinals and Ravens receiver John Brown had a career high 72 receptions in 2019.
Also, former Dallas Cowboy Cole Beasley had 67 receptions as a solid slot receiver for Allen. A combination of Diggs, Brown, and Beasley will look to be a dominating part of the Bills offense for Josh Allen.
Under the great guidance of Frank Gore last year, rookie running back Devin Singletary showed plenty of promise as a lead runner for the team. Singletary had 775 rushing yards with 5.1 yards per carry. With the rookie running back only appearing in 12 games last year, Frank Gore had to do a lot of the work in the backfield.
Gore, who appeared in all 16 games, had 166 rushing attempts for 599 yards. With Frank Gore not on the current roster, more responsibility will be put on Devin Singletary to be a true lead running back for the Bills going forward.
For the last couple of years, one of the most elite defenses has unquestionably been the Buffalo Bills. Head coach Sean McDermott has always been a defensive minded guy especially with his previous job as a defensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers.
Last year was no different for the Bills defense with the team being in the top ten of all major defensive categories. They were 3rd in the league with 298.3 yards allowed per game, 4th with 195.2 passing yards allowed per game, 10th with 103.1 rushing yards allowed per game, and 2nd with 16.2 points allowed per game. All of those stats clearly show that Bill’s defense was elite in 2019.
Besides the great stats along with a very defensive minded coach, the Bills defensive team has plenty of playmakers on that side of the ball. Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds led the team with 115 total tackles, safety Jordan Poyer had 107, and linebacker Matt Milano had 101 as well.
Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips led the team with 9.5 sacks, and the Bills ranked 12th in the NFL with 44 sacks as a team. In the secondary, cornerback Tre’Davious White led the league with 6 interceptions last season. With all the playmakers on the defensive side of the ball, I fully expect the Bills defense to be near the top of the league in 2020.
With Tom Brady exiting the division and the Bills going all in with the trade for Stefon Diggs, this can be a very successful upcoming season in Buffalo. I expect Josh Allen to improve as a passer in his third season, and Devin Singletary will take a bigger role in the offense.
10-6 was good enough for Buffalo to get to the Wild Card game, but Bills fans should expect bigger things this season. With the Patriots losing one of the best quarterbacks of all time, the AFC East will be much more competitive in 2020.