Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills’ first-team offense has looked downright scary this summer, a continuation of the theme we saw in last season’s playoffs, when the Bills were basically unstoppable against the New England Patriots (who they bludgeoned) and the Chiefs (who nonetheless pulled out an epic overtime victory). They’re a trendy Super Bowl pick for a reason, and those summer visuals have done nothing to squelch the hype.
I absolutely believe that the Bills, who lost four consecutive Super Bowls in the early ‘90s, are good enough to hoist the Lombardi Trophy for the first time next February. If they do, however, it will likely be their defense that puts them over the top.
Buffalo was 13 seconds away from closing out Kansas City last January, when Mahomes calmly shredded the Bills’ secondary on consecutive plays to set up a game-tying field goal. As I detailed in late April, Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane — aka “BBB” — made it his mission to address that ignominious collapse over the offseason.
First, he signed star pass rusher Von Miller, who’d helped the Los Angeles Rams capture last February’s Super Bowl with a stellar postseason. Then Beane traded up in the first round to draft former Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam, hoping to bolster a secondary that desperately needs the services of Tre’Davious White, one of the league’s top shutdown corners, who’s still recovering from the torn ACL he suffered last Thanksgiving.
When I interviewed Miller last month, he provided insight into his free-agent courtship, one which almost went sideways even after the Super Bowl 50 MVP arrived via private jet at the team’s Orchard Park, N.Y. training facility to sign his contract. As Miller wrestled with the decision, Bills head coach Sean McDermott told him, “We’re not bringing you here to save us,” something that resonated with the longtime Denver Broncos star.
“The Bills, they have something special,” Miller told me. “And selfishly I want to be that drop that overflows it (for) these guys. I want to look back on my career and be like, ‘Hey, it was me … why we were winning all these Super Bowls. I want to see if it’s me, if I’ve got that touch, if I’ve got that juice that really charges up teams and really makes them compete for Super Bowls. To win three different titles on three different teams is something that has never been done before; Matt Millen was on three different teams, but he didn’t play (in the third game, Washington’s Super Bowl XXVI victory over the … Bills).”
My opinion? If people are sleeping on the Bills’ defense, they’d better wake up. And soon.
“I’m not sure what people are saying or thinking,” tight end Tommy Sweeney says, “but this defense is legit. There are studs everywhere.”