It’s been awhile since the Buffalo Bills entered a new season with the same general manager, head coach, offensive and defensive coordinators as well as (likely) franchise quarterback. With the Jets and Dolphins both looking to rebuild their teams from the ground up and the Patriots appearing to display a little decay mode (yay,) the Bills franchise appears to be emerging as a model of stability in the AFCE.
Yes, you read that correctly. A model of stability. To be sure, this is not by any means suggesting the Bills are a finished product. They are virtually an entire offensive line, several wide receivers and a tight end away from being relevant on offense.
Although the defense is further along, they also need depth along the defensive line, another starting linebacker and possibly another starting corner opposite of Tre’Davious White. Depth at linebacker, safety and nickel corner would likely complete the package on defense.
However, looking over the landscape in the AFCE, the Bills are in a better position to wrestle the stranglehold the Patriots have had on the division for the better part of the last two decades. The Jets likely have their franchise quarterback for years to come, just as the Bills hopefully have found their guy in Josh Allen.
But the Jets and Dolphins are both facing significant rebuilds before we’ll have any idea where either of those franchises are headed. The Patriots will reign supreme until someone knocks them off their perch atop the division.
Regardless of how the Patriots fare in the playoffs, the venerable Tom Brady will be 42 before the start of the 2019 season. To see his decline, don’t look at how he performs in September. His arm will be fresh. By December it may be a different story next season.
Watch how Brady’s adapted his game to accommodate his aging body. He’s beginning to look a lot like Peyton Manning did his last season in Denver. The pinpoint accuracy isn’t there on some passes, something we rarely saw in the past from Brady.
Certainly Brady is capable of blowing it out of the park and winning another Super Bowl championship. If he does, he would be wise to retire in glorious fashion.
However, judging from Tom’s general comments about his future, he obviously has a problem letting go, so it would not be surprising to see him hang on until it gets ugly. Kyle Williams wrote the book on how to retire with dignity. I suspect Tom Brady might end up being the poster child for how NOT to retire.
So here we are – our Bills sitting pretty with ten draft picks and money to spend on free agents. They are set with quarterbacks on offense and defense gaining much needed experience as rookies. The table is set.
Brandon Beane is about to experience his “Jason Botterill” moment.
At least that’s what I hope. Will Beane be more like Botterill and play his cards right by putting together a model for sustainable success? Or, will he have his “Tim Murray moment” and blow resources by overpaying substandard talent?
Get your popcorn ready. We are about to enter a new era at New Era.
Editor’s babble: It’s been a long time since I felt this good looking ahead after a 6-10 season. For once the Bills have the proper studs in place (lol) to build a foundation for success. If you can deal with drippy optimism, you can also find me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.