Here are five bold predictions for the Buffalo Bills defense ahead of the start of the 2023 NFL season:
Von Miller is the sack leader
Von Miller? Leading the Bills in sacks? Seems obvious, right? Not so much. He did not last year due to his knee injury. Now he’s set to miss the first four games of next season due to the same issue as he remains on the PUP list.
But even in missing those four, the prediction will still be Miller leading Buffalo in the sack department. He was far-and-away the Bills’ best pass rusher when he was on the field.
Greg still gets double-digits
While Miller will lead the Bills in sacks per our prediction, there’s still room for Greg Rousseau. He had Buffalo’s most sacks in 2022 with 8.5. If Miller is on the field for the remainder of next season after his spell on the PUP list, Rousseau almost feels like a lock for his first 10-plus sack year. Think… Jerry Hughes across from Mario Williams.
Tre'Davious White has most interceptions
Knee injury mentions shall continue here.
Cornerback Tre’Davious returned from his own last season. His play was spotty at times and White was certainly not the All-Pro corner we were used to.
Let’s predict he’s back in 2023.
Sometimes outsiders can forget how difficult returning from such a serious injury can be. Physically, players aren’t usually back to their “normal” self for two years. Plus, there’s the mental side of it.
All things considered, the timeline says White will be back… fully back, this upcoming year. Let’s see him lead the Bills in interceptions.
Bottom to top in blitzing
Sean McDermott took over play calling for the Bills defense. Buffalo’s longtime defensive coordinator in Leslie Frazier parted ways with the team this offseason.
One difference we saw in the preseason: Aggressiveness.
McDermott’s unit looks like it will be sending the pressure at opposing quarterbacks this year. Much more than previously. In 2022, the Bills recorded a 19.4 percent blitz rate. That was the 10th lowest in the NFL.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers rounded out the top 10 last season with a rate of 28.3 percent.
A prediction: Buffalo takes a spot in that top 10 with McDermott now calling the plays in 2023.
Kaiir Elam does not get a start
Elam, a former first-round pick, did not do well. He dropped out of favor pretty quickly. So much so, we’re going to predict he makes zero starts in 2023.
Recency bias makes that not look like a bold prediction. But a former first rounder not starting in Year 2? That’s not normal.