In 2017 the Jacksonville Jaguars came out of nowhere and made it to the AFC Championship. They were led by their ferocious defense, but had an overrated quarterback which is why everything collapsed the next year. In 2018, the Chicago Bears came out of nowhere and went 12-4 , and they were also led by their ferocious defense, but again had an overrated quarterback which is why they collapsed the next year.
In 2019 the Bills emerged as a powerhouse and went 10-6 and almost won their playoff game. Like the Jaguars and Bears they were led by their dominant defense, but also have an overrated quarterback.
Will the Bills meet the same fate as the Bears and Jaguars?
Let’s start by looking at the quarterbacks. Everyone knew that Blake Bortles was overrated before 2017, but some thought he might have had a chance to keep up his 2017 pace. Many thought the same of Mitchell Trubisky, but he regressed as well. Josh Allen is a little bit different because the consensus on him is a bit higher than what it was on Bortles and Trubisky. He’s still extremely overrated though, most would agree that he’s better than Sam Darnold but if you do a side by side comparison it’s evident that Darnold did more with less resources. Allen isn’t as bad as Trubisky or Borltes, but I’d definitely say he’s extremely overrated and isn’t as good as he’s made out to be.
The next thing we need to look at is the offseason moves and this department is a positive for the Bills. The Jaguars kept the entirety of the defense together and made some minor additions that didn’t change anything. On offense they added star guard Andrew Norwell and didn’t change much else. Despite having the virtually same roster, they regressed. The Bears on the other hand suffered some pretty big losses losing guard Kyle Long, safety Adrian Amos, and slot corner Bryce Callahan. They barely made any additions and predictably weren’t as good in 2019.
The Bills on the other hand attacked their needs more aggressively than both other teams. They added rookie running back Zack Moss to clean up Singletary’s weakness, punching the ball in; they also acquired star receiver Stefon Diggs from Minnesota. On defense they added high upside cornerback Josh Norman to play across from Tre’Davious White, and added a few depth pieces including Mario Addison, Quinton Jefferson, AJ Epenesa, and AJ Klein. They also have more young talent to look forward to with big names including Tremaine Edmunds, Devin Singletary, Dawson Knox, Cody Ford and all-pro Tre’Davious White.
Before writing this I was impartial, not knowing whether I would determine the Bills to be the same or different as the surprise teams they preceded. After looking at their situation more thoroughly it appears the 2020 Bills will be different from the Jags and Bears, and will play at near the same rate as they did last year.
While he’s still overrated, Josh Allen is better than Bortles and Trubisky and has added mobility. The Bills have way more young players that will progress than the Jags and Bears did, and they also made huge roster additions. Unless they are struck with the injury bug I can confidently say that 2020 Bills are going to be just as good, if not better than the 2019 Bills.
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