For the second straight season, the Buffalo Bills were crowned AFC East Champions in 2021. The team won 11 contests to sit one game clear of the New England Patriots. Playing host to their bitter rival on Wild Card weekend, Josh Allen and company made quick work of Bill Belichick’s group in a dominating 47-17 victory. Ultimately matching up with the Kansas City Chiefs once again to decide who would host the AFC title game, the Bills could not get over the hump. Knocked off heartbreakingly, Buffalo was defeated 42-36 in an all-time classic. Looking to add pieces in the offseason to one of the most complete rosters in the league, the franchise made multiple acquisitions. They signed Von Miller to a six-year deal while also coming to terms with Rodger Saffold, O.J. Howard, Tim Settle, and Jordan Phillips.
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Dawson Knox Finishes Top 5 in Both Receiving Yards and Touchdowns for Tight Ends
Knox broke out in his third season in the league a year ago. The 25-year-old tight end established himself as a go-to target in Buffalo’s high-powered offense. Developing a rapport with Allen, the connection had a 130.5 passer rating. This was the highest of any QB-TE tandem in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. This led him to haul in a career-high 49 passes for 587 yards while tying for second in his position with nine touchdown grabs. The former fourth-round pick is entering the final year of his rookie deal. With the addition of longtime Tampa Bay Buccaneer O.J. Howard, look for Knox to continue to create matchup problems and be a key piece for new offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey.
Gabriel Davis Eclipses the 1,000 Yard Mark
Davis put together one of the finest performances of his young NFL tenure during the team’s divisional-round matchup against the Chiefs. Torching Kanas City’s secondary all game long, the UCF product caught eight passes for a career-high 201 yards and four touchdowns. He is set to be the clear-cut number two receiver next year. The Bills will be without veteran Emmanuel Sanders after they choose not to re-sign the 35-year-old. Along with this, they also choose to part ways with longtime slot man Cole Beasley. This was in a salary cap slashing move. One of the true perimeter wideouts on the roster, Davis is one of the best big-play receivers in the game. Over 500 of his yards have come via deep passes during his first two years in the league.
Kaiir Elam wins Defensive Rookie of the Year
Buffalo selected Elam with the 23rd pick during April’s draft after trading up with the Baltimore Ravens. Offering up prototypical length at the position, he also has the size, speed, and fluidity in coverage to be a shutdown player at the NFL level. Set to enter his rookie season as the number one cornerback on the Bill’s roster, the team will likely be without Tre’Davious White to begin the year. The one-time first-team All-Pro member suffered a torn ACL in week 12 against the New Orleans Saints and continues to work his way back. Presented with a major opportunity, Elam will have no shortage of good receivers to match up with early on, with the team squaring off with Cooper Kupp, Tyreek Hill, and Jaylen Waddle.
Josh Allen Captures his First MVP Award
One year removed from finishing second in MVP voting in 2020, Allen posted solid numbers again last season. The former seventh overall pick tossed for 4,407 yards and 36 touchdowns while completing 63.3 percent of his passes. Along with this, he also added 763 yards rushing with six touchdowns. Raising his game to another level during Buffalo’s postseason run, he looked virtually unstoppable at times. The University of Wyoming alumn threw for over 600 yards while adding in nine touchdown passes and no interceptions. Home to one of the most complete rosters across the NFL, the expectations are both sky-high for the Bills and for Allen. He is the current betting favorite in Vegas to win his first-ever MVP award. Bank on him to have a monster 2022 season.
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