The Buffalo Bills seem to be on a good track, but here are five offseason moves they have to make in order to get back to the playoffs next year.
After their loss to the Tennessee Titans in the “Music City Miracle” game, the Buffalo Bills didn’t make the playoffs again until 2017. But they’ve now made the playoffs in two of the last three seasons, albeit with losses in the Wild Card Round each time.
The Bills were so close to ending their drought without a playoff win Saturday against the Houston Texans, with a 16-0 lead in the third quarter before losing in overtime. So that last playoff victory came in 1995, with Jim Kelly as the starting quarterback.
With a good coaching staff, a lot of talent on both sides of the ball and a promising young quarterback in Josh Allen, the Bills are in a pretty good place. The next step is getting a playoff win, or perhaps even seizing the AFC East to some degree with question marks surrounding the Patriots right now.
In order to get back to the playoffs next year, and perhaps get over that lingering hump and win a postseason game, here are five offseason moves the Buffalo Bills must make.
5. Replace Lorenzo Alexander
If was pretty easy to see coming, and the Bills almost surely knew it would happen whenever their season ended, but immediately after the loss to the Texans Alexander announced his retirement after 15 NFL seasons. Originally undrafted out of Cal in 2005, Alexander is a great success story.
Beyond the intangible leadership he brought, Alexander was also a productive player. He had 6.5 sacks in 2018, as Pro Football Focus graded him highly as a pass rusher and run defender. This past season he had 50 total tackles and two sacks with nine quarterback hits while playing 47.6 percent of the defensive snaps (the third-highest snap rate among Bills’ linebackers). In four seasons with Buffalo, Alexander never missed a game and started 42 of those 64 regular-season games.
It won’t be easy to replace everything Alexander brought to the table. But from purely an on-field production perspective, the Bills look equipped to do it.