The Buffalo Bills’ reign atop the AFC East could soon be over according to one former NFL star.
Brandon Marshall, who is a former six-time Pro Bowl receiver and now works as an NFL analyst, made that bold claim in a recent episode of his podcast, “I AM ATHLETE,” citing the offseason departure of former defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.
“It’s over for Buffalo. It’s over,” Marshall said, per Nick O’Malley of MassLive. “I’m telling you, that defense — nice. It’s the coach. You can keep his scheme, but you can’t keep his leadership. ‘Yo, let me go talk to this player like this. Let me go meet this one where they’re at. Let me go challenge this one. Let me cut this one.’ So you can keep the scheme, but he ain’t there.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if (Stefon) Diggs is on another team next year. I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s over for Buffalo. Remember, the window is short, man.”
While there’s no way of knowing whether or not Marshall is correct in his assessment, there is a possibility that his forecasting comes true. If it does, could that mean good news for the New England Patriots?
Well, maybe not.
The Bills have been the class of the AFC East for the last three seasons, combining to win 75% of their regular season games and winning the division three times. That doesn’t mean the Patriots have been good, however.
New England, on the other hand, has won just 50% of its games and failed to make the playoffs in two of those three seasons. The Patriots’ one playoff appearance? A 47-17 loss to the Bills in the wild-card round.
So why bring the Patriots up in this scenario? Well, if the Bills do fall out of favor in the division it would mark a significant moment in the future of both franchises. Obviously, Buffalo would be on the short end of that scenario, but it would be just as bad a look for New England if it found itself as just another team in the shuffle.
The AFC East has been run by the Patriots and Bills since the turn of the century, as the two teams have combined to win the division in 20 of 23 seasons. New England, of course, has claimed 17 of those titles. To get back to that point, it will have to do a lot more than just see Buffalo knocked off the perch.