Expectations. Every year right about now I start to assess what my expectations for the upcoming Buffalo Bills season should be. It’s been a long time since I had actual expectations for the Bills. For obvious reasons. Then the 2018 Bills season happened.
They had a rookie QB so before the season I didn’t have high expectations. I will admit I’m not the most blindly optimistic of fans. I consider myself more of a realist with optimistic tendencies, but most people tag me with a pessimistic view point.
But rarely does a rookie QB burst onto the scene and make a huge impact. Josh Allen was also considered a project QB with all the physical tools a QB could have but needed work in order to succeed at the next level. So my expectations were tempered.
The 2018 Bills finished the season 6-10 but they had a lot of obstacles to overcome. A less than talented roster. A less than stellar offensive line. An injury to their rookie QB that sidelined him for 4 games. McCoy looking less explosive and lost in an offense that needed a running game that never materialized.
There were bright spots to last season that led me to believe I might have to have real expectations for the 2019 version of the Buffalo Bills. A defense that was legitimately good. They finished 2nd in overall defense but even more impressive, they finished first in passing defense, in today’s pass happy NFL. Josh Allen was more athletic than anyone let us believe. He was exciting to watch even if you could see the things he needed to work on in the passing game.
So what did the Bills lose in the offseason? Well, not much. Nothing to suggest that they got worse in any areas that would have a big impact. Sure Kyle Williams is gone, but he wasn’t the Kyle Williams of years past. They lost some offensive line players that honestly should have been gone.
What did they add? Well that’s the fun part. They added a lot. They totally revamped the offensive line. They added depth and competition to a unit that was clearly lacking talent. There will be talented players that get cut at some point from this unit and that’s a drastic change from what Allen had around him last season.
Mitch Morse from Kansas City should be the best addition for Allen a center that he can grow with. They added wide outs John Brown from Baltimore and Cole Beasley from Dallas that should help Allen immensely in the passing game. They added EJ Gaines a familiar face from Cleveland and Kevin Johnson from Houston adding CB depth. They added Frank Gore from Miami who should be an upgrade to Ivory.
Those were just the free agency additions. They drafted well by most analysts point of view. Adding DT Ed Oliver Houston, T Cody Ford Oklahoma, and RB Devin Singletary FAU. All three should contribute fairly quickly with both Oliver and Ford starting sooner rather than later.
They added a lot of pieces and helped rebuild a roster. They added a lot of talent. They did what they needed to do in order to look to the future. But that brings us back to expectations. How soon should we have expectations for this Buffalo Bills team?
Well according to most experts not right away. They project the Bills to win 4-6 games. Even Las Vegas set the Bills over/under on wins on the season at 6, which betting took up to 6.5 fairly quickly. The real question I have about this is why? Why no love for the Bills?
I say they’re wrong. I say I finally have real expectations. I say that the utter lack of talent last season compared to this roster that has talent will clearly result in more wins. Some say this roster lacks star power. But I say some stars can emerge.
Tre’Davious White is clearly on the verge of becoming a star. Matt Milano always seems to have a knack for being around the ball. Robert Foster, Tremaine Edmunds, and Josh Allen himself could all emerge.
So I say it’s OK to have real expectations. I say this team makes a real playoff push. If they come together as a team, they have the talent to make a splash. I’m saying Josh Allen makes strides and the Bills win 10 games. Maybe even enough to knock off the Patriots for the division lead.
Maybe I’m going to be let down at the end of it, but we all have expectations in every facet of life whether conscious or not. As a Bills fan I haven’t let myself have high expectations in many years, so let’s see how I do watching a team when I expect them to win.
Editor’s babble: Thanks to Charles Sonstang for his contribution to our blog! If you would like to contribute to our blog, feel free to contact me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.