Buffalo Bills will head into the 2021 NFL season aiming to continue the progress they have made over the past few years.
The Bills had endured a barren spell after four successive Super Bowl appearances during the 1990s, but there have been signs in recent times that they are on the way back.
They claimed top spot in AFC East for the first time since 1995 last term and went on to contest the AFC Championship game against Kansas City Chiefs.
The Bills ultimately came up short, but many pundits fancy them to go all the way next season.
Read on as we take a look at four players who need to step up to the mark if the Bills are going to get the job done.
Although the Bills have a talented young roster at their disposal, there a few areas where they can make significant improvements.
One of the main issues last season was running the football, with the Bills averaging just 107.7 yards per game.
After an inconsistent rookie year with the Bills, running back Zack Moss will be keen to demonstrate his talents next season.
Moss was a standout performer at the University of Utah and he has the ability to be a high-end NFL player if the Bills utilise him properly.
The Bills traded up to draft Knox in the third round in 2019 and they were rewarded with some promising performances during his debut year.
However, illness and injuries limited his impact last season, but the Bills will be confident that he can fulfil his potential next term.
Buffalo have been pretty solid at developing players in their third year, a point highlighted by the progression shown by Josh Allen and Tre’Davious White.
If Knox can replicate the efforts of that pair, he could become an integral part of the Bills’ attempt to reach the Super Bowl.
Now in the veteran stage of his career, Sanders could prove to be an extremely shrewd addition to the Bills’ roster next season.
He was encouraged to join Buffalo by wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who made a huge impression during his first year with the franchise.
Sanders caught 61 passes for 726 yards with five touchdowns last year with the New Orleans Saints to continue his solid career output.
He recorded over 1,000 yards per season with Denver Broncos from 2014-2016 and will be eager to prove he is no back number with the Bills.
Oliver is another 2019 draft pick who shone in his debut season, before suffering a drop-off in performance last year.
Star Lotulelei’s absence didn’t help Oliver’s cause, but his return to the line-up should help the 23-year-old rediscover his form.
Buffalo have learnt from the pressure that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers put on Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl, and believe that could be the key to success in the AFC.
Oliver will be expected to play a key role in the Bills’ defensive unit next season alongside the likes of Lotulelei and AJ Epenesa.