When a team reaches the Conference Championship Game, it is easy to imagine that they have very few issues that need to be addressed when looking ahead to the new season. If you were to ask the Buffalo Bills fans about specific needs, most would probably point to the defensive line. That certainly seems to be something that the Bills front office agrees with, as they spent a good part of their offseason addressing that specific issue. The run to the AFC Conference Championship Game last year suggests that this team is close, but can the defense be bolstered so that the Bills make the next logical step? Let’s take a closer look at the changes made and how that might impact them in the coming season so you can start getting ready to bet against their NFL odds.
NFL Betting – Buffalo Bills Defense Expert Analysis For the 2021-22 Season
The Bills Defense in 2020
When you look at the Bills defensive stats in all the major categories, you see a unit that was very much middle of the pack. You need only look at their points surrendered to see that this was not an elite defensive team. The Bills won the AFC East, but they also finished 3rd in the division in points against (375). In terms of YPG allowed, the Buffalo Bills found themselves down in 16th overall, which gives you a basic idea of how they relied on their offense more often than not.
Through the air, the Bills allowed just shy of 233 YPG, which again has them down in the middle of the pack. On the bright side of things, they did have 15 INTs on the season, which is not far off the league best, which was 18 by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Where they did fall short was in registering sacks, with 38 on the season. If you cannot consistently pressure the QB, those defensive stats are going to take a hit.
If the offense is as productive as last season and this defense can improve, the Bills are an instant Super Bowl threat. Let’s take a look at the moves they made to try and make that happen.
Bills Offseason Moves
It was clear that the Bills saw the need to get more pressure on opposing QBs, as they used their first 2 draft picks to bolster the defensive line. They used their first pick in the draft to take edge-rusher Gregory Rousseau and then followed that up by taking D-lineman Boogie Basham, who looks ready to play in the NFL right away. Perhaps even bigger than that, though, they acquired pass-rusher Efe Obada from the Panthers. Obada has 5.5 sacks last season and is a major upgrade at that position for the Bills.
As far as younger players go, we can expect LBs Matt Milano and Tremaine Edwards to make another step forward this season. The Bills appear to be in good shape at safety, as both Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer have long since proven their worth at the position. Things are not quite as good at cornerback, though. Tre’Davious White is excellent, but it looks like a battle between Levi Wallace and Dane Jackson for that #2 spot.
I looks to me as though the Bills have done enough to shore up the defense, and with rumors that free agent LB Steven Nelson might be on his way to Buffalo, this is a team that should be among the best in the NFL in 2021.