It has been over 20 years since the Buffalo Bills have had a player win an individual award, which Bruce Smith did in 1996 when he was named Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year.
This season though the Buffalo Bills appear to have a good chance of ending that streak as they have players who could contend for a number of the top awards handed out each season. These are the best candidates for each of these awards.
5 best candidates on the Buffalo Bills to win individual awards in 2022
Most Valuable Player: Josh Allen
This first choice shouldn’t be that much of a surprise as Josh Allen certainly has the best chance of winning the Most Valuable Award for the Buffalo Bills.
He is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL and in fact a quarterback has won the award nine straight years.
Allen has now had impressive seasons two years in a row with over 4,400 passing yards and 35 passing touchdowns each season. He also finished runner-up in the MVP voting in 2020. If Josh Allen were to win the award, he would be the first quarterback to win the award in Buffalo Bills history and be the first player since Thurman Thomas won it in 1991.
Associated Press Offensive Player of the Year: Stefon Diggs
The same season that Thurman Thomas won MVP, he also won the Associated Press Offensive Player of the Year and was the last player on the Buffalo Bills to do so.
While quarterbacks have dominated the MVP award, the OPOY award has gone to either a running back or wide receiver four out of the past five seasons.
Among the players on the Buffalo Bills, the best candidate for this award would be wide receiver Stefon Diggs. The Bills’ top wide receiver is playing some of the best football of his career with back-to-back 100 reception seasons with over 1,200 receiving yards each year. He also has caught a total of 18 touchdowns during that stretch.
Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year: Greg Rousseau
The expected answer here is probably Von Miller, who at one time was an elite pass rusher but never won the award in his career.
However, at this stage of his career it would make sense for the Buffalo Bills to focus on managing his workload to keep him as fresh as possible over the course of a regular season and hopefully a long playoff run.
Another player that certainly is talented enough to be in the discussion is cornerback Tre’Davious White but this year it seems unlikely as he works his way back from an ACL injury and may not be fully recovered at the start of the season.
Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year: James Cook
Of all the awards, this is the one that has been the longest since a member of the Buffalo Bills won it. In fact, it has only happened once and that was back in 1970 by quarterback Dennis Shaw.
If there is going to be a rookie on the offensive side of the ball to win it for the Buffalo Bills, it would likely be running back James Cook.
The second round pick out of Georgia is one of the top receiving backs in this year’s class and now joins an offense that leans heavily on the passing game. In recent years, running backs have done a good job winning this award and in fact, out of the last nine winners, four have been running backs.
Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year: Kaiir Elam
Similar to Offensive Rookie of the Year, it has been a while since the Buffalo Bills have won Defensive Rookie of the Year with linebacker Shane Conlan the last to do it in 1987.
This year the Buffalo Bills’ best chance to win the award likely will be with cornerback Kaiir Elam, who Leslie Frazier is expecting to play a lot almost immediately.
The fact that Elam is expected to be a starter almost from the start should help his chances. In addition, with Tre’Davious White on the other side of the field, opposing quarterbacks should test him often and this could give him the chance to secure a number of interceptions as a rookie.