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Going Camping: Buffalo Bills

Sportsnaut
Jun 14, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) passes the ball during minicamp at the ADPRO Sports Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

On the losing end of one of the most entertaining playoff games ever, the Buffalo Bills are plotting an alternate ending to the 2022 season.

One that doesn’t come down to the flip of a coin in a road game in the postseason.

Buffalo appears to be the clear class of the AFC East and is one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl.

Training camp location: Rochester, N.Y.
St. John Fisher College
Rookie report date: July 18
Veteran report date: July 23

Key Acquisitions: WR Jamison Crowder, RB Duke Johnson, DE Shaq Lawson, DE Von Miller, TE O.J. Howard, OG Rodger Saffold, DT DaQuan Jones, DT Tim Settle, DT Jordan Phillips, QB Case Keenum

Key Losses: DT Harrison Phillips, QB Mitch Trubisky, CB Levi Wallace, RB Matt Breida, DT Vernon Butler, DE Efe Obada, DE Mario Addison, WR Cole Beasley, DE Jerry Hughes, WR Emmanuel Sanders

Buffalo had the best defense in the league last season, and it would appear they only got better on that side of the ball this offseason.

The Bills reconfigured their front seven, headlined by Von Miller’s arrival on a six-year, $120 million contract.

Additional signings include defensive tackles DaQuan Jones, Tim Settle and Jordan Phillips and defensive end Shaq Mason, as Mario Addison, Efe Obada and Jerry Hughes all signed elsewhere. Buffalo also lost defensive tackles Harrison Phillips and Vernon Butler.

Josh Allen got a pair of veteran wide receivers in Jamison Crowder and Tavon Austin, and Crowder will likely take on Cole Beasley's role out of the slot. O.J. Howard adds nice depth at tight end, and Duke Johnson might not see a significant workload, but he’s another reliable piece for the Bills’ backfield.

Adding players through the draft also filled in some holes, as Buffalo selected cornerback Kaiir Elam with the 23rd overall pick after Levi Wallace signed with the Steelers. Running back James Cook was snagged in the second round and is slated to be the RB2, and receiver Khalil Shakir was taken in the fifth round to help replace Emmanuel Sanders.

The Bills made a number of smart moves, adding pieces that are good fits on both sides of the ball. Acquiring Miller made this past offseason that much sweeter, and Buffalo is once again in a position to make a deep playoff run.

–WEEK 1 IN FOCUS:

Thursday,
Bills at Rams, 8:20 p.m. ET
Line: Rams -1
Total: 52 points

Opening lines varied from Rams -2 to Rams -0.5 before settling in at a pick ’em, then Rams -1.

Buffalo is getting unparalleled support in AFC futures markets since the Chiefs traded away Tyreek Hill. The defending Super Bowl champion Rams get their rings in this NFL Kickoff Game, which has the makings of a high-scoring affair.

–ELEVEN AND UP

Even with Super Bowl winner (Rams, Week 1) and runner-up (Bengals, Week 17) on the schedule, Buffalo can win 12 games and settle the futures tickets that placed their 17-game wins projection line at 11.5 (FanDuel, DraftKings). The slate is particularly soft after Thanksgiving. But if Miami is sneaky improved and New England picks up the pace, the schedule has more mines than anticipated and the under for regular-season wins becomes the value play.

–Field Level Media