2021 Record: 11-6 1st AFC East
2022 Win Total: 11.5 wins
Over 11.5 -140
Under 11.5 +110
Yards Per play: 7th 5.9
Yards per pass attempt: 16th 7.1
Offensive QB Sack percentage: 2nd 3.89%
Yards per run: 5th 4.8
3rd down conversion rate: 47.33%
Turnover Margin: 7th +0.5
Yards Per Play allowed: 1st 4.8
Yards per pass attempt allowed: 1st 5..5
Yards allowed per rush: 16th 4.4
Defensive QB sack rate: 9th 7.13%
Notable losses: Brian Daboll OC, Cole Beasley WR, Mitch Trubisky QB
Notable additions: Ken Dorsey OC, Jamison Crowder WR, Case Keenum QB, OJ Howard TE, Rodger Saffold LG, Von Miller LB, Shaq Lawson DE, Daquan Jones DT
1st Round Draft Pick(s): Kaiir Elam CB Florida
Strength of schedule: 18th (1 Easiest, 32 Hardest)
The Bills had somewhat of a disappointing season given their Super Bowl aspirations. Buffalo not only won the AFC East, but only had one loss by more than seven points last season. For the season, Josh Allen ranked 8th in passing yards and 7th in QBR. Stefon Diggs had over 1,200 receiving yards and ten touchdowns in 2022. On defense the Bills were one of the best units in the league. Buffalo was 1st in yards per play, 1st in yards per pass attempt allowed, and built a defense that was designed to stop the Chiefs. Unfortunately for Bills fans, the success on defense came to a halt in the divisional round of the 2022 playoffs. The Chiefs beat the Bills 42-36 in overtime in what was one of the most dramatic finishes I’ve ever seen.
The Bills have the ability to be the number one offense in the league in 2022. Josh Allen has cemented his abilities both in the air and on the ground. 2nd round draft pick James Cook should provide valuable depth behind Devin Singletary. Combined with Josh Allen’s legs, the Bills should have no problem maintaining their 5th ranked rushing offense. At receiving and tight end, Buffalo has only gotten better. Jamison Crowder steps in for Cole Beasley and should have no problem getting open in an offense that is designed around getting players in space. The Bills also added OJ Howard who can provide depth at the position. Even on the offensive line the Bills are in a better position than most teams. They added 13 year veteran and left guard Rodger Saffold to a unit that has just one player with less than three years of experience. The only big question mark that remains is the impact Brian Daboll had on this team. Daboll was a highly sought after coach that got this offense to where it is now. It’s reasonable to assume that with him gone, there may be a lack of new plays and proper schemes implemented. It helps that the Bills and head coach Sean McDermott elected to promote Ken Dorsey to fill in for Daboll. Dorsey has been with the team since 2019 and has previously held positions such as passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Hopefully Dorsey retains enough from Daboll and can design an offense that suits what Josh Allen needs.
The Bills added some new pieces in the offseason that should hopefully elevate the defensive side of the ball. Defensive end Shaq Lawson returns to the Bills but has now changed teams three times in the last three offseasons. Eight year defensive tackle Daquan Jones also joins the team but has never had a season with more than 3.5 sacks or 30 solo tackles. Perhaps the best weapon the Bills added was linebacker Von Miller. Miller recorded 9.5 sacks between playing for the Broncos and the Rams last season. Tremaine Edmunds has recorded over 100 total tackles in every season that he has played in and will help keep this unit top tier in yards allowed per play. In the secondary is where the Bills are the best in the league. Safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde were both top five in total tackles for the Bills and kept the secondary number one in yards allowed per pass. They will need to elevate their game in order to make up for the absence of Tre’Davious White. White tore his ACL during a Thanksgiving game in 2021 and was just recently placed on the PUP list. Some estimates say he will return around October of this season but that is hard to place much weight on. The Bills realized this was a problem and elected to draft two cornerbacks to provide depth. First round draft pick Kaiir Elam will likely see the field immediately as the Bills don’t have many better options. Including the playoffs these are the teams the Bills played after White went down: Patriots (three times), Bucs, Panthers, Chiefs, Falcons, and the Jets. Only the Bucs and Chiefs had competent pass offenses last season and both teams scored 33 or more points. It’s hard to use last season to gauge how much White contributed to this team, but I would wager it’s significant. Overall I would expect this side of the ball to play slightly better in the running game but noticeably worse in the passing game until White returns.
The Bills have the talent, coaching, and strength of schedule to make a deep playoff run in 2022. Assuming White is able to return to the field by October, the Bills are my favorite team in the AFC to win the Super Bowl. From a win total perspective it’s hard not to like the over. Including the playoffs, the Bills were 0-6 in games decided by seven or less points. Assuming that regresses closer to even, the Bills will likely compete for the number one overall seed in the AFC. At -140 I won’t bet it, but I like over 11.5 wins for the Bills.