The reigning AFC East champions had their ups and downs in the early stages of the season. The Buffalo Bills split their first 12 games. A 6-6 record not only meant that the team had already lost twice as many games as they did in 2022, Sean McDermott’s squad trailed the 9-3 Miami Dolphins in the AFC East with five weeks to play.
The Bills would run the table, which included a 21-14 victory in South Florida in the final game of the 2023 season that clnched the division title. A 31-17 wild card win over Pittsburgh by the AFC East champions set up yet another playoff meeting with the Chiefs, this time at Buffalo. A game-tying field goal attempt in the waning moments went wide right, and the Bills were sent home by Andy Reid’s team for the third time in four years.
Will Josh Allen and company ever get over the hump? There’s still a lot of talent on this team, but some tweaking is in order.
What’s Next for the Buffalo Bills?
A return to the Super Bowl continues to elude a franchise that made a record four straight appearances in the “Big Game” (all losses) from 1990-93, but hasn’t been back since. So, what can head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane to cure what ails this franchise?
The team parted ways with offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey after a Week 10 home loss to the Broncos. The Bills promoted quarterbacks coach Joe Brady to take over, and in their final nine outings, including the postseason, the offense totaled at least 28 running plays and 100-plus yards on the ground in each contest. Making running back James Cook a bigger part of the offense was a huge positive, and that figures to continue going forward.
Biggest Offseason Concern?
The two biggest names that could hit free agency in mid-March are safety Micah Hyde and wide receiver Gabe Davis.
The Bills have a slew of defensive linemen that could also hit the open market in DaQuan Jones, Tim Settle and Jordan Phillips, as well as pass rushers Leonard Floyd and A.J. Epenesa. Buffalo’s defense finished with 54 sacks (10.5 by Floyd) and the team came away with 30 takeaways. Only the Ravens, Chiefs and 49ers allowed fewer points than McDermott’s team, yet the Bills fell short in terms of that long-awaited return to the Super Bowl.