Home » Sports Take » 19 Buffalo Bills Season Recap

19 Buffalo Bills Season Recap

A lot of good things happened in 2019 for the Buffalo Bills. Their young core grew. They won 10 games. They made the playoffs. They won two prime time games. Bills Mafia earned more respect as a fan base, slowly but surely limiting the table-breaking mantra.

Let’s have a full look at the season A-Z; the highs, the lows, the what-ifs and more.

  Team MVP: Tre White. The cornerback out of LSU bailed the Bills out time and time again. His big moment came during Week 7 against Miami (after a team bye week by the way), with Buffalo down, at home, 14-10 and things looking dire. White intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick at the 2 and the Bills drove down 98 yards for the go-ahead score. He also forced a fumble two series later (recovered by Jerry Hughes) and the Bills scored again. Buffalo ended-up winning 31-21 after being down and things looking like a possible season-changing loss to an AFC East rival. Rarely do cornerbacks change games like this. White did, possibly saved the season, and in the end, was probably the best CB in the NFL. The encore? Two INT’s in prime time against Pittsburgh, helping to clinch a Buffalo playoff berth on December 15 during Sunday Night Football.

Biggest positive: The young core group took another or first step up. From Dion Dawkins to Dawson Knox to Josh Allen to Devin Singletary to Tre White to Matt Milano to Tremaine Edmunds to Ed Oliver, Buffalo’s young guys took yet another step in the right direction. The Bills have a lot of money to spend in the off-season thanks to cap space but must be careful because many of these players will need to be paid soon to keep this thing together.

Honorable mention biggest positive: Buffalo made the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. Simple as that.

Biggest negative: Josh Allen and Brian Daboll, the unknown tandem. Bills Mafia is all-in on Josh Allen for the most part, as is this author. But while Allen shows a ton of potential, pre-snap improvement, leadership, heart and 4th quarter ability in the clutch, he is terribly inconsistent, either throws picks or fumbles and really took a step back in the playoffs (more on that game in a moment). On the big stage, he looks lost. Meanwhile, offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is crafty and witty and clearly can put together great offensive packages. But he changes that philosophy many times during games and goes conservative and it is frustrating to watch. Is that totally on Daboll, who has freedom to run his group, or is Sean McDermott in his ear with the defensive mindset to try and control the game more? Maybe both. It seems like when Daboll calls the right plays, Allen misfires or when Allen is rolling the team goes conservative. Side note: wide receivers, feel free to catch the ball more.

Biggest negative honorable mention: The national narrative was that the Bills didn’t play any good teams. Despite the fact that they went 6-2 on the road which is good against anyone and that there were major toss-up games going into the season to begin with, there is some truth to the fact that they took advantage of a soft schedule, four games against the Jets and Dolphins and they played every game at 1 PM outside of at Dallas and at Pittsburgh. That schedule allowed for a similar routine week to week which coaches and players in this league crave. How will this team respond next year with games against Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson, a tougher road schedule, more prime time games, and a much more imbalanced schedule? Plus, they aren’t coming out of nowhere. The film is there. People know the Bills are a team “on the rise.”

The one that got away: Buffalo was able to rest everyone in Week 17 and lost to the Jets in preparation for the playoff game in Houston. Were the Bills playing with house money? Was the playoff appearance good enough for many no matter what? Some fans are ok with the loss because they feel like the team “arrived early” and that the “future is bright” in Buffalo. I go the other way. In sports, narratives change. And nothing moving forward is guaranteed. There are too many factors and layers in this league to say otherwise. It isn’t being negative, it is being realistic. The Bills went 10-6, went 6-2 on the road, came one possession from beating the likes of New England twice and Baltimore, won two prime time games against two trademark NFL franchises, grew the young core in the regular season and matched-up well with Houston going in. The narrative changed from there when they were up 16-0 late in the third quarter against the Texans with history on the line. -History being the first playoff win for the franchise since 1995. The Bills’ first drive of the game was amazing, the best and most creative all season, which ended in a touchdown pass (Tricky Bills) from wide receiver John Brown to Josh Allen. The Bills kept attacking until they didn’t late in the first half, settling and stalling for field goals in the second quarter and beyond. The Bills never converted another touchdown and that 19-point mark ended-up not being enough as Houston won in overtime 22-19. Bills fans can say what they want. They can blame officials for the 3rd and 18 Houston conversion late that should have been a delay of game or the live ball could have been, should have been a touchdown to start the second half or the horrible call against Cody Ford. Buffalo fans can say that Deshaun Watson should have been tackled by one of two rushing defenders. But all in all, the Bills didn’t score enough … again. Devin Singletary didn’t get the ball enough. They stopped attacking. The Bills went conservative. Sean McDermott and Brian Daboll played not to lose. They didn’t score enough all season. They didn’t score enough in Houston. And that is why they lost when they had the game won.

Thanks for the memories: Lorenzo Alexander retired after the playoff loss in Houston. A team leader, a man of his word, someone who represents Buffalo incredibly well and supports charity after charity. Class act. He deserved better in terms of success in Buffalo. What a warrior of a football player and an even better guy.

2020: All in all, it is way better in Buffalo than prior to the Sean McDermott-Brandon Beane leadership team and the Pegula ownership group. But if the Bills are going to take the next step, they need offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and QB Josh Allen to consistently attack, be productive and score more points. The expectation, having said everything already and with tons of draft picks and cap capital, is to win the AFC East in 2020 and make a run at the Super Bowl. Yes, the Super Bowl.

Mike Lindsley
Follow Mike Lindsley on Twitter @MikeLSports and download his podcast the “ML Sports Platter” on Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Spotify.