ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WROC) — Since Micah Hyde signed with the Bills in 2017, the team’s offense hasn’t been very good.
In fact, it hasn’t even been average. In that timeframe, the Bills have never had an offense that’s cracked the top 20 in points scored.
While Hyde never wanted to throw his offense under the bus, he can now admit how tough it was for the defense to have to shoulder the load for the team.
“The evolution of the Bills offense has come a long way. I would have never admitted this back then but it was frustrating, some of those years, to go out there and the defense is possibly playing well, getting some takeaways, and then our offense went out there and was struggling,” says Hyde. “It was frustrating.”
In 2017, the Bills ranked 22nd in the league scoring 18.9 points per game as they snapped their playoff drought. The next year, they had one of the worst offenses in the league, scoring just 16.8 points per game. That was good for 30th best in the league. Even last year when the team finished 10-6 and made the playoffs with room to spare, the offense wasn’t asked to do much. They finished 23rd in the league with 19.6 points per game.
However this year, with the addition of Stefon Diggs and the expected growth of Josh Allen, Hyde thinks things are going to be different.
“We’re at the point where we’re just as excited about this offense as they are. There’s a bunch of weapons. They get after us in practice. There’s sometimes where they have a quick two-minute drive on us. We get back to the sideline and we’re like ‘dang, what just happened?’ They got four or five big plays on us and then we’re off the field and we’re like ‘what is going on?’ They’re going to be pretty good and we understand that,” says Hyde. “They’re going to obviously continue to have to get better just like our defense is. We’re excited for them.”
Hyde started his career in Green Bay and has seen prolific offenses up close. Tremaine Edmunds is only two years into his NFL career and doesn’t have quite the same perspective. But even then, he sees the Bills as a complete unit this season, strong on both sides of the balls.
“I’m excited about what the whole team can do. In particular, the offense, they’ve shown a lot of things to us in camp that you just have to take your hat off to. We’ve been just competing,” says Edmunds. “As an offense and defense, we’ve made each other better. I think that’s what you look for in a team.”
The Bills know that there are high expectations for the team this year. They’ve tried to temper their fanbase, saying that the Patriots are still the team to beat in the division until they’re knocked off. But there’s still a different buzz around One Bills Drive.
“I think there’s a sense of urgency since we got into training camp. It’s not 2017 where kind of everything is unknown, it’s not 2018 where we’re trying to figure out the pieces still, we’re trying to get a quarterback, trying to establish a bunch of different positions. Last year, we kind of got a little streak, got a little momentum. This year, we’re trying to build off that,” says Hyde. “No one’s clueless. Everyone understands the type of urgency you have to have going into this season, but we’re taking it one game at a time. We’re going into the season trying to get win number one. That’s all we care about.”
The season starts this Sunday against the Jets, a week one that will be vastly different thanks to the COVID offseason. One thing’s for sure. They’re “supposed” to win, they’re favored by almost a touchdown.
It’s time to see if the offense is up for the challenge.