Buffalo Bills 2020 Team Preview

Building momentum in Sean McDermott’s third season as head coach, the Buffalo Bills won 10 games for the first time since 1995 last season. They made their second straight wild-card playoff berth. Guided by an outstanding defense that finished top two in the league and the improved play of quarterback Josh Allen, the team began to prove they are an emerging contender in the AFC. However, after jumping out to a 16-0 lead in their playoff game against the Houston Texans, Brian Daboll’s offense was unable to finish off drives late. This ultimately allowed the Texans to score 19 unanswered points and defeat the Bills in overtime, sending them home disappointed for the second season in a row.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL team previews.

Offseason Recap

Entering the offseason, general manager Brandon Beane focused on adding playmakers around his young quarterback to help the Bills offense score more points and add key pieces to the team’s already stellar defense. Beane accomplished just that as he pulled off the offseason’s most shocking move when he acquired Stefon Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings. Focused on adding depth after the Diggs acquisition, the franchise came to terms with longtime Panthers defensive linemen Quinton Jefferson and Mario Addison. Rounding out the free agent signings in Buffalo, the second level of Leslie Frazier‘s defense will have two new additions. Former All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman and linebacker A.J. Klein joined the team in the offseason.

Headed into the draft without a first-round pick due to the Diggs acquisition, the Bills saw their first selection come at number 54 overall. After a run on receivers, causing impact defenders to slide, the team selected defensive end A.J. Epenesa. Focused on adding a backup running back after the departure of Frank Gore, the Bills’ next selection was longtime Utah back Zack Moss. Rounding out their draft class, Buffalo added two notable players in the later rounds, selecting quarterback Jake Fromm and kicker Tyler Bass

After rumblings early on in the offseason about potential interest in Daboll and Frazier for head coaching jobs elsewhere, the team was able to retain both for next season. McDermott was rewarded with a six-year contract extension, tying him to the team through the 2025 season.


Once again, the spotlight will be on Allen in 2020 to see if he can take the next step in his development as the Bills offense leader. With Diggs’s addition joining Cole Beasley and John Brown, Allen now has one of the best and most versatile receiving cores at his disposal next season. One of the most dynamic playmakers in the NFL, expect the team’s passing attack to take a significant leap forward from their 26th rank in 2019 as Buffalo now has the elusive number one wideout they have been targeting for multiple seasons. However, even with the new additions at receiver, the focus of the number eight rushing offense from a year ago will be to create a run-heavy attack to open up deep shots down the field. 

After the addition Moss, the franchise has one of the best young one-two punches in the league with second-year back Devin Singletary expected to handle most of the workload. Fresh off a season that saw him rush for 775 yards on 151 carries while adding two touchdowns, Singletary is one of the keys to the Bills offense in 2020. After overhauling the offensive line over the last couple of seasons, the team finally has continuity with center Mitch Morse, guards Quinton Spain and Jon Feliciano, and bookend tackles Dion Dawkins and Cody Ford all returning next season. Following the signing of veteran guards Brian Winters and Daryl Williams to go along with Ty Nsekhe, with depth at the position, expect the unit to be a strength once again next season.

The most significant question mark surrounding the group next season will be the tight end position. After an up and down rookie campaign filled with highs and lows, Dawson Knox will look to be the lead guy in 2020. Following a disappointing first season that saw him miss five games due to injury, Tyler Kroft returns healthy-looking to prove his value after signing a three year deal with the Bills just a season ago. Overall, expect Daboll to use a lot of three-wide receiver sets next season after running it on nearly 70 percent of snaps a year ago.


One of the best units league-wide over the past two seasons, the Bills defense has finished number two and number three overall, respectively. A unit that should once again challenge the best in the league in 2020, the group looks to return most of its starters from last season. Playing in an aggressive 4-3 scheme under McDermott and Frazier, the spotlight will be placed along the defensive line after the team finished 15th in total sacks and 10th in rush yards per game in 2019. After the departures of Jordan Phillips and Shaq Lawson in free agency and the retirement of Lorenzo Alexander, the holes on this side of the ball were filled with a variety of free agent signings. 

Led in the secondary by one of the best safety tandems in football in Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, and by shutdown cornerback, Tre’Davious White, the strength of this defense will once again come in the backend. Fresh off a 2019 campaign that saw him tie for the league lead in interceptions with six while not allowing a touchdown against en route to a first-team all-pro selection, White is a top-three cornerback in the league at his position. Along with within the secondary, the unit will be guided by one of the best young linebacking duos in football in Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano. They are finally beginning to garner national attention league-wide.

A position battle that should carry on all season long will be for the number two cornerback spot opposite White between Levi Wallace and Norman. After a disappointing end to his tenure in Washington, Norman chose to reunite with his former defensive coordinator in Buffalo, when he agreed to sign a one year deal with the team. Primarily excelling as a zone cornerback in the latter half of his career, Norman is a strong fit for the system and should have the opportunity to begin the season at the position.

Predicting the 53 Man Roster

QB (3) – Josh Allen, Matt Barkley, Jake Fromm

Thought of by many as a team that would roll with two quarterbacks after selecting From in the draft, as a result of the lost preseason, all three make the final roster. Allen will once again be the lead guy, expect Barkley to be the team’s backup for one last season as From will be a sit and develop quarterback in his first season in the league.

RB (5) – Devin Singletary, Zack Moss, T.J. Yeldon, Taiwan Jones, Reggie Gilliam

Singeltary and Moss are locked to make the roster as the leaders of the Bills rushing attack. Yeldon provides a third option out of the backfield with the ability to play special teams. After one season in Houston, Jones is back as a key piece of the special teams unit. Gilliam earns the final spot over veteran Patrick DiMarco at fullback after an underwhelming beginning of Dimarco’s training camp.  

WR (7) – Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, John Brown, Gabriel Davis, Isaiah McKenzie, Andre Roberts, Duke Williams

Diggs, Brown, and Beasley are the three projected starting receivers and the position group leaders. Davis has impressed early and should see significant snaps his rookie season as a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft. Mckenzie is the swiss army knife of the offense and has been in the system for multiple seasons. Roberts is one of the best return men in the league and should see his contributions primarily from special teams. After several big-time moments last season, Williams grabs the final spot due to his size and potential.

TE (3) – Dawson Knox, Lee Smith, Tyler Kroft

After an up and down rookie season, Knox needs to fix his drop problem to be a consistent number one tight end. After an injury-riddled 2019 campaign, Kroft returns and should contribute as the number two tight end. Smith makes the roster as the final member of the group as a primarily blocking tight end on run downs.

OL (8) – Dion Dawkins, Cody Ford, Ty Nsekhe, Ryan Bates, Quinton Spain, Mitch Morse, Brian Winters, Daryl Williams

After an injury to Feliciano that will keep him out several months, expect Winters to take over the role. Morse and Spain return to fill out the rest of the interior of the offensive line. Fresh off a contract extension, Dawkins is back to protect Allen’s blindside. Second-year tackle Ford finishes off the starters for the Bills. Rounding out the offensive line group, Nsekhe, Bates and Williams provide much-needed depth with experience playing multiple positions.  

DL (4) –  Vernon Butler, Quinton Jefferson, Harrison Phillips, Ed Oliver

2019 first-round pick Oliver should see most of the first-team reps after a strong finish to his rookie campaign. Phillips returns after an ACL injury cut his season short after appearing in just two games last season. Rounding out the interior of the defensive line are free agent acquisitions, Jefferson and Butler. They both have experience playing multiple positions and should see a large percentage of snaps as Frazier likes to rotate his big guys in and out to keep them fresh. 

EDGE (4) – Mario Addison, Jerry Hughes, A.J. Epenesa, Bryan Cox Jr.

An overhauled position group from last season, Hughes returns as one of the longest-tenured players on the roster. Addison has recorded at least nine sacks the past four seasons and should see plenty of snaps on pure pass-rushing downs as he enters his 10th season in the league. Epenesa has lined up all over the formation during training camp for the Bills. As one of the strongest run defenders on the roster, he should see plenty of opportunities to make an impact as a rookie. The last spot goes to former Cleveland Brown Cox, who has been one of the stories of training camp for the Bills, clearing the way for the team to cut longtime veteran Trent Murphy.

LB (6) – Tremaine Edmunds, Matt Milano, Vosean Joseph, A.J. Klein, Tyler Matakevich, Corey Thompson

The easiest position group to project on the roster, Milano and Edmunds, are two of the best linebackers in the game and the Buffalo defense leaders. Klein will take over the recently retired Alexander role and should provide more upside with superior coverage skills. Both Thompson and Matakevich will make the roster based on their substantial special team contributions, with the ability to spell Milano and Edmunds on some plays. Joseph finishes off the linebacking group, winning the spot over Tyrel Dodson due to his system experience.

CB (5) – Tre’Davious White, Josh Norman, Levi Wallace, Taron Johnson, Dane Jackson

After an All-Pro season, White is in line to become the highest-paid cornerback in football as he is an emerging superstar. Called one of the diamonds in the rough of the entire draft, seventh-round pick Jackson has an opportunity after E.J. Gaines opted out of the season. Johnson has held down the slot for the previous few seasons and should have the inside track to continuing that role in 2020.

SAF (5) – Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, Dean Marlowe, Siran Neal, Jaquan Johnson

Led by one of the best safety tandems in the league with Hyde and Poyer, the safety position is set at the top. With the ability to come down into the box and play inside cornerback and help out in run support, Neal should open the season as number three on the depth chart. Extra bodies in the secondary, Marlowe, and Johnson can start at safety in the case of injuries, but both will primarily be special team contributors.   

ST (3) – Tyler Bass, Corey Bojorquez, Reid Ferguson

After cutting longtime veteran kicker Stephen Hauschka, Bass will enter the season as the team’s starting kicker. Bojorquez returns to handle the punting duties for the Bills after Lachlan Edwards was released after an underwhelming camp. Closing out the specialists is one of the team’s most beloved members in long snapper Ferguson.

COVID (2) – E.J. Gaines, Star Lotulelei 

2020 Outlook

One of the best rosters in the entire league and certainly in the AFC, Buffalo should capture their first AFC East title in over 20 years this upcoming season, following the departure of Tom Brady from the Patriots. Led by one of the premier defenses in the entire league, if Allen can take the next step in his development and enter the upper echelon of quarterbacks in the league, the Bills will be one of the teams to beat. In a conference with many question marks surrounding it behind the powerhouse Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs, expect the team to land the number three seed in the playoffs.  

Season Prediction: 11-5 and make playoffs.

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