by Meghan Pacana
The Buffalo Bills finished ranked fifth in the NFL 2021 season in yards per game. MVP Josh Allen, Bills quarterback, had a season total yardage of 4,407 including six touchdown passes, and rushing six more. Not only did Allen have a completion rate of 63.3% of his passes, almost doubling the rate in just one season, he was also averaging ten yards per completion. The 25-year-old posted a 92.2 quarterback rating and carried the ball 122 times totaling 763 yards for an incredible and record season.
Stefon Diggs, wide receiver, hit the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth consecutive year. Diggs had 103 receptions, totaled 1,225 yards, and completed ten touchdowns this 2021 season. Former first draft pick and defensive lineman, Ed Oliver (91) is in his third season in the NFL. Some would say the third season is where rookies really make their marks, Oliver certainly lived up to that standard. The lineman had an amazing season with 14 sacks and a forced fumble. Mario Addison, defensive end, also assisted with seven sacks and ten tackles leading to a loss of the ball.
Although the Buffalo team had a season filled with success, their mistakes led to an unfortunate series of losses as well. The team finished with the worst mark in single possession games in the league. Despite the fact that the team finished ranked sixth in rushing yards, if you take away Josh Allen’s 763 yards, the Bills leap to 31st place. The biggest commonality within the season, which ultimately led to their loss in Kansas City, was consistency.
In case you missed the game versus the Chiefs, the Bills took the lead with thirteen seconds left in the fourth quarter. Instead of killing the clock, the game plan made by the Bills was to kick the ball deep, which in the end arguably led to their season-ending defeat.
So what’s the game plan for the 2022 season? Well, the team has to work on their consistency with both offense and defense. The organization may be looking for a new offensive coordinator as well. The Buffalo Bills may need to look for and improve on speed, depth, and new development both offensive and defensively.
With the draft coming up, some positions that may be up for grabs are center back, offensive linemen, linebackers, defensive tackles, wide receivers, and running backs. Some of the top picks that were written up in the 2022 mock draft were Texas A&M’s Kenyon Green, Boston’s Zion Johnson, and Auburn’s Roger McCreary.
Bills fan Ken Johnson said, “for a Bills fan, a football game is not only a football game”. The superfan attended 423 consecutive Bill’s games which unfortunately came to a halt when the pandemic hit. Even then fans rallied in the local streets and waited for the team’s arrival at the airport, win or lose. Famous for the tailgates, Buffalo’s Mayor Brown, and bills mafia follower, states “No other stadium, no other team in the nation, tailgates as we do in the city of Buffalo. We are legendary in how we tailgate.“
Not only are Bills fans loyal, but they sincerely care for the well-being of the players. In 2019, Josh Allen had lost his grandmother Patricia Allen. A local fan had started a thread on Twitter encouraging fans to donate $17, Allen’s number, in honor of her death. Within two months, 27,000 fans had raised a total of $1.1 million dollars. Oishei children’s hospital, located in Buffalo, New York, donated a wing of the hospital to Patricia Allen and the Allen family. The wing is named ‘Patricia Allen Pediatric Recovery Wing’.
In a nation filled with ill will and division, not only does Buffalo come together for their Bills, but for the good of humanity. During the divisional game against the Baltimore Ravens, Lamar Jackson was injured in the third quarter and was taken out for a concussion. Buffalo fans sympathized and rallied to donate over $500,000 to Jackson’s charity Blessings in a Backpack.
Buffalo has the nickname “The City of Good Neighbors” and time and time again, citizens live up to that reputation. Both the city and the team are excited for the upcoming 2022 season. After all, they have waited a generation for this powerhouse of a team.