Last year, the Patriots ranked 2nd on total team defense according to Pro Football Reference. They commanded most statistical categories. Ranging from passing yards to rushing touchdowns, they ranked in the top 5. This last off-season, they acquired linebacker Mack Wilson from the Cleveland Browns. However, they had to trade outside linebacker Chase Winovich (who was much more of a blitz-heavy LB); compared to a coverage linebacker like Wilson.
Wilson will add some much-needed speed to that front 7. They signed former 1st round pick Jabril Peppers, Peppers (who is a jack of-all trades of sorts) can play safety, linebacker, or even a return specialist. He is someone who can do it all, and I really see him flourishing under a Belichick-led system. So, this seems like a done deal, right? The Patriots defense will dominate again, Mac Jones will continue to develop, and the Patriots will roll right along.
Well not so fast, Josh Allen has developed, and he has developed in a big way. Over the last few years, he has developed into a legitimate MVP candidate. Allen has incredible arm strength and has great mobility in around the pocket. Last season, Allen had an astounding 4407 passing yards, and 36 touchdowns. Of course, that arm strength does come with its drawbacks. He does occasionally force passes way down field. But that’s to be expected, you can’t demand perfection consistently. Over his career so far, he’s tallied 2325 rushing yards, and has 31 touchdowns. He can always keep the defense on their toes.
The Rest of the Bills
The Running back core consists of: Devin Singletary, James Cook, Zack Moss, and Duke Johnson. Three of those are under 25, and 1 being a rookie (Cook). With that depth, they can overrun any front 7.
The Receiving group being: Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, and Jamison Crowder. Diggs is a star that defense backs fear to cover, he can roast the defense at the snap of a finger.
The Tight ends are not as quite of a stable threat, but a sustainable source, nonetheless. That being Dawson Knox and O.J Howard, a one-two punch that can cause trouble.
The offense line is solid, ranging from Dion Dawkins to Rodger Saffold. They gave up only 27 sacks last year, second least in the NFL.
There is a reason this team won the AFC east last season. The Bills can kill, and if the patriots want to compete, they must bring the guns out.