NFL – Buffalo Bills’ Season Review – Part 1

25 Jan

The 2020 Buffalo Bills’ season extended quite a ways past where it usually has in other years, yet came 2 weeks short of where fans hoped it would end. Nevertheless, it’s time to publish our annual four part season review of the team. Part 1 deals with the Bills’ management and coaching staff. General Manager Brandon Beane deserves an A+ for the job he’s done in constructing a playoff caliber roster, and he’s been rewarded with several Executive of The Year honors. He purged the roster of selfish players who were deemed to be not buying in to “the process”, drafted a sure-fire franchise quarterback in Josh Allen and then surrounded him with the talent to help him succeed. In the last off-season Beane did some of his best work. He sacrificed the club’s top draft choice in a trade that yielded a player who turned out to be the top wide receiver in the NFL in Stefon Diggs. His work with the remainder of his 2020 draft picks left the team with players who either contributed on some level to the winning year or have the  potential to be part of the Bills’ future success. Beane’s next challenge will be his toughest – raising the team to championship level by continuing to add depth pieces and recognize where he needs to freshen the roster with young talent that can improve a club that won 15 games this season but still came up short of the ultimate goal. The Bills lost a rather one-sided AFC Championship game to Kansas City to end the season, so there’s now a clear barometer of where they need to get to in order to climb the final mountain.

Head coach Sean McDermott has established much more than just a winning culture in Buffalo. His players have banded together into a brotherhood where they all play unselfishly for each other and for the team’s die-hard fans. There’s a lot of love in the locker room, and that has been noticed around the league, as the Bills are now respected as a winning organization that other players will be willing to come and join. That helps Beane do his job. One of my criticisms of McDermott in past reviews was that at 0-6 against Bill Belichick he had yet to beat the AFC East’s dominant team. He slayed that dragon in 2020 by sweeping the Pats, including a convincing win in Foxborough near the end of the regular season. His assistant coaches have become hot properties around the league as both coordinators, Brian Daboll and Leslie Frazier, have gotten interviews for head coaching openings, and quarterback coach Ken Dorsey has been rumored to be a candidate for offensive coordinator jobs. McDermott, a serious candidate for Coach of The Year for his work, hasn’t been perfect. His challenge decisions haven’t always worked, and his team overall looked overmatched and outcoached in the title game against the defending champion Chiefs.

With 3 playoff appearances in 4 seasons, the Bills’ management and coaching is in a solid and stable position for years of future success. There still needs to be improvement as standing pat usually leads to staleness and regression, but the Beane/McDermott partnership is well equipped to accomplish that.

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