It’s not as simple as hoping to carry momentum from one season to the next. The minute you get comfortable and start to rest on your laurels in the NFL is when you’re suddenly caught flat-footed and left in the dust, like a cornerback who bit a double move.
McDermott is always quick to point this out following the conclusion of a season. The 2020 chapter of the Bills has officially closed. Bills coaches and players can’t afford to dwell on their many successes from the past 12 months, because that’s just not how their jobs work.
It’s different for the rest of us, however. Fans, analysts and observers alike don’t have to move on immediately. We can take the time to examine and process all that has transpired, which is a good thing — because the 2020 season is one that Bills fans won’t forget anytime soon.
Yes, Buffalo ultimately fell short of its No. 1 goal. The Kansas City Chiefs were far and away the better team in the AFC Championship Game, and no changes in fourth-down decisions or game plans were going to change that result. The best team on that day won.
Buffalo’s season ended with a loss, but everything else about the 2020 Bills season was a win. This was the year that we finally — finally — saw the seismic shift we’ve been waiting to see since the famed Super Bowl teams of the 90s.
This wasn’t fool’s gold. This was the real deal.
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RUNNING BACKS: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS
Aaron Jones, Packers 5-9 • 208 pounds • 27 years old A fifth-round steal in the 2017 draft out of UTEP, Jones is equally proficient in the running and passing games. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards the last two years, and caught 49 and 47 passes, respectively. He’s also a touchdown machine with 30 TDs the last two years (25 rushing and 5 receiving). The son of two career Army officers, he’s a tough, driven player and the kind of guy players want on their team.
THE RIGHT STUFF?
Keeping two important starters is a priority as the right side of the O-line hits free agency
QUARTERBACKS: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS
Dak Prescott, Cowboys 6-2 • 235 pounds • 27 years old A solid starter who has a nice TD-INT ratio over his first five seasons (104-40), Prescott is an accurate thrower and very mobile. However, he’s coming off a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle, so it remains to be seen if this will impact his game moving forward.
TIGHT ENDS: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS
Hunter Henry, Chargers 6-5 • 250 pounds • 29 years old A very talented player, Henry has had issues staying healthy, unable to complete an NFL season, including missing the entire 2018 season with a torn ACL. But when healthy, he’s a terrific all-around tight end who really connected with Justin Herbert in 2020 with 60 catches. Henry is very good at finding holes in zone coverage.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS
Leonard Williams, Giants 6-5 • 255 pounds • 28 years old An athletic 300-pounder with quick feet, Williams amassed a career-high 11.5 sacks last season. Add that to him being a stout run defender, very durable and possessing great character, and he should be in high demand. He won NFC Defensive Player of the Week twice last year. $$$$$
What Bills Fans Are Saying
Bills Digest scanned the Bills’ Facebook page and other fan message board sites to gauge the hot topics Bills Nation is talking about. We chose some of the better posts, edited for brevity and clarity, and present them here, along with Bills Digest editor Mark Ludwiczak’s take on what’s being discussed.
Bills Digest BUZZ Box: Five hot topics Bills fans are talking about
Bills Digest editor Mark Ludwiczak and editor-at-large Chris Brown weigh in on a handful of the hottest subjects Bills fans have been sounding off about in e-mails to our offices, radio call-in shows and Internet message boards. Have an opinion? Feel free to send an email to Chris (AskChris@bills.nfl.net) or Mark (Mark@asmpublishing.com).
WIDE RECEIVERS: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS
Allen Robinson II, Bears 6-2 • 220 pounds • 27 years old Coming off a 102-catch season, Robinson is a big, physical receiver who can go up and get the rock. He excels at climbing the ladder to high-point the ball. Imagine what he can do with an elite QB after playing in Jacksonville and Chicago. Though he has been in the league since 2014, he’s still only 27.
GUARDS/CENTERS: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS
Brandon Scherff, Washington 6-5 • 315 pounds • 29 years old The fifth pick of the 2015 draft, Scherff certainly lived up to the hype. He’s got everything teams want in a guard — size, grit, great technique, power and the mobility to get to the second level. His massive hands (11 inches) are a huge asset for a guard to grab and clutch. He made the Pro Bowl four of his first five NFL seasons. $$$$$
Another unusual offseason awaits
In a normal year, with a normal offseason, now would be the perfect time to give Josh Allen the monster contract extension he so clearly deserves.
FOR TELEVISION, NFL DEAL IS LIKELY A MATTER OF SURVIVAL
The $113 billion deal to telecast NFL games through 2033 is head-swimmingly large — until you consider that the very survival of broadcast networks as we know them may depend upon it.
JC Deep Dive: The new coaching staff
Bringing Shanahan magic to Florham Park
The Long Game: Covid Changed The Way We Play, Watch, Cheer
It’s the predictable rhythm of sports that draws us in.
Aaron & Shailene: WEDDING & A BABY!
The couple are on the fast track when it comes to their future.
SHOULD THEY STAY OR GO?
49ers have long list of decisions to make with their own FAs
TOP 10 Most illustrious assistants
When Robert Saleh signed a five-year contract with the New York Jets, Jan. 14, he became the 35th former San Francisco assistant to use his time on the 49ers’ staff as a springboard to a future position as an NFL head coach. Several of those men made a big enough impact during their time with the team — and then later leading other teams, with 10 taking their new teams to the Super Bowl — to be included on this list of the Most Illustrious Assistant Coaches in 49ers history.
GUARDS/CENTERS TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS
GUARDS/CENTERS TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS
As if the 49ers didn’t already lose enough during their tortured 2020 season.
2021 NFL draft sneak preview
The Dolphins again will be prominent players in the 2021 NFL draft, thanks to the final returns from the major Laremy Tunsil trade with the Houston Texans.
NFL Honors, D-line coach, 2020 draft story
It was a disappointing, albeit not entirely surprising, night for the Dolphins when the NFL Honors awards presentation took place.