On Wednesday, the Buffalo Bills rewarded head coach Sean McDermott with a six-year contract extension, tying him to the team through 2025.
Extending Sean McDermott further stabilizes the Buffalo Bills and should keep them in contention in the AFC East for years to come. On the surface, a coach who has gone 25-23 in three seasons does not seem that impressive.
But what McDermott inherited was a team that had not been to the playoffs since 1999. The Bills were a running joke in the NFL, especially compared to the division rival New England Patriots.
He immediately guided Buffalo to nine wins and a postseason birth in 2017 and brought them back to the playoffs in 2019. The team seemed poised to win their Wild Card Game last season, only to have superhuman performances from Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt end that dream.
McDermott is a great defensive mind
After spending eight seasons as defensive coordinator in Philadelphia and Carolina, McDermott got his shot in Buffalo. He inherited a middle of the pack defence and has transformed them into one of the best in the NFL.
Buffalo ranked second in the league in points against last season and third in yards allowed, according to Pro Football Reference. He gets it done without a ton of guys that get national notoriety. Most of the defence was drafted and homegrown under the guidance of McDermott.
Tre’Davious White is a star, but most of the other defenders fly under the radar. McDermott schemes, as well as any coach in the league and makes life very difficult for opponents.
The AFC East is finally wide open.
Tom Brady took his talents to Tampa Bay in the offseason and a pile of Patriot defenders opted out of the 2020 season. As a result, the AFC East looks winnable for the first time in forever.
The Bills are poised to take advantage and win the division over a reshuffling Patriots team. The Dolphins are frisky but a couple of years away from contention, and the Jets are, well, the Jets.
Buffalo last won the division in 1995 when Marv Levy was still the coach and Jim Kelly the quarterback. Winning the AFC East has to be a big goal for the team in 2020.
Offence needs to improve to make a run in the playoffs.
The Bills’ offence ranked 23rd in points scored last year and 24th in yards. In a league that increasingly relies on high octane offences, Buffalo at least needs to have an average unit.
Quarterback Kyle Allen took a big jump in his second season in 2019, and a similar rise could put the Bills into Super Bowl contention. Buffalo added an elite weapon for Allen in wide receiver Stefon Diggs from an offseason trade with Minnesota.
The defence is going to be very strong again. However, if McDermott can get some more out of Allen and the rest of the offence, this becomes a very frightening team for opponents.
What is your take on the McDermott extension? How do you think the BIlls will do in 2020? Let us know in the comments below!.