The Houston Texans defeated the Buffalo Bills in the wildcard round of the 2019-20 NFL playoffs. The game started off promising for Buffalo and continued into the third quarter. Buffalo had a 16-0 lead over the Texans before Deshaun Watson took the lead late in the fourth. The Bills would force overtime, but Houston found a way to win when it mattered most. Buffalo will now look to the off-season to re-tool their roster and make the necessary moves to return to the post-season in the 2020-21 NFL season. Here is the Buffalo Bills’ season review.
Buffalo Bills 2019-20 Season Review:
Tre’Davious White Becomes an All-Pro
The Buffalo Bills’ 2017 first-round draft choice was a rollercoaster on draft night. The Bills had the tenth overall selection in the draft. They decided to trade the pick to the Kansas City Chiefs, moving down to the 27th selection. The Chiefs selected future MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes with the tenth selection from Buffalo and the Bills selected future First-Team All-Pro cornerback Tre’ White.
White has consistently improved since being drafted by Buffalo and has now become recognized as one of the best players in the entire NFL. The cornerback did not allow a single touchdown the entire season including the Bills’ one playoff game against the Houston Texans. White has reached the top of the NFL standards and will continue to improve until he is regarded as the best cornerback in the NFL. The Bills’ secondary has a leader in White for as long as he remains with the team.
Young Stars Emerge as Leaders
The Bills’ have become a competitive team in the AFC primarily through the draft. The Bills have drafted Josh Allen, Tremaine Edmunds, Tre’ White, Matt Milano, Ed Oliver, Devin Singletary, and Dion Dawkins. All of these players are strong starters and leaders on the Bills. Allen and Edmunds are the primary leaders on each side of the defense and both are captains in just their second season with the team.
Singletary has been able to learn from veteran Frank Gore on how to be a leader. That knowledge will help Singletary lead the Bills’ running backs into the future. Dion Dawkins will do the same with the offensive line along with veteran Mitch Morse. Overall, the Bills have done a great job drafting excellent young talent who can lead the Bills into a future of continued success.
Veterans Pass the Torch of Leadership
After discussing the young talent that is taking over the Bills, it is important to acknowledge the veterans who helped them along the way. Last season, Kyle Williams had a strong impact on the Bills defense. His retirement had the defense focused on carrying his legacy forward. This season the same thing has happened with Lorenzo Alexander. These players impacted the defense in a way not many players are able to achieve.
Now, they have taken the role of teaching the young players on the defense on how to do the same thing. Mentoring players in leadership can be equally or more important than technique or strength training. Leadership is how teams stay strong through tough times and overcome deficits. With Jerry Hughes taking over the role as the team’s veteran leader, the Bills will continue to have a strong balance of young and old leaders commanding the locker room.
Progress Towards the Future
The Bills may have come up short against the Texans to start their 2020, but the team made strides in 2019 that will set them up for future success. Josh Allen has shown incredible improvement this season. Allen recorded single-digit interceptions, an improved completion percentage, and a top-6 finish among quarterbacks in total touchdowns. Allen needs to be the leader of the Bills’ offense and his success is crucial to the success of the Bills.
Meanwhile, other young players such as Devin Singletary have shown that they have the ability to make an impact. Buffalo has multiple pieces in place that will help them succeed and they also have 90 million dollars in available cap space to pair with nine selections in the 2020 NFL draft. These assets will allow them to add the final pieces to the Bills’ puzzle. It will also give them a chance to be a dominant force for many years to come.
Cap Space and Draft Picks to Build on a 10-Win season
Touching further on the cap space and draft picks, Buffalo has the capability to add significant talent to their roster for the 2020 season and beyond. Buffalo’s top needs heading into the off-season are wide receiver, offensive line, and depth at cornerback and running back. All of these positions have a deep pool of talent in the 2020 draft. There are also pending free agents who would be solid additions to the Bills’ roster. A name that comes to mind would be the current Dallas Cowboys’ wide receiver, Amari Cooper.
Dallas is currently in a cap situation where they may need to decide between Cooper and Dak Prescott. Obviously, Dallas would want to retain their franchise quarterback and may elect to let Cooper test the free agency waters. Cooper would be a significant upgrade to the Bills’ wide receiver group. He would be the true number one option Josh Allen has lacked in his first two seasons with Buffalo.
Optimistically, Buffalo will make the necessary moves during the off-season to ensure they remain competitive in 2020. Josh Allen has shown that he is dedicated to improving. Also, the Bills’ general manager Brandon Beane has been fantastic since he was hired. Beane will do great things with the available cap space and draft picks to continue to improve the Bills’ roster. Bills fans should expect an improved roster and continued success for Buffalo in the 2020-21 NFL season.
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