Jezioro: AFC East Predictions

With NFL free agency underway, the focus now shifts to the NFL Draft taking place in April. The Buffalo Bills have already made some moves signing free agents, but the biggest acquisition they made was trading for wide receiver Stefon Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings. The following day was even better when Bills killer Tom Brady left the New England Patriots after 20 years of dominance, signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Besides Brady, the Patriots lost some key pieces on defense, but the mastermind of Bill Belichick is still there. The head coach is without Brady for the first time in two decades, giving the Bills a realistic chance to take over as division winners. However, there are a couple of things that need to happen in order for them to accomplish that goal.

First up is better play from quarterback Josh Allen. Last season, Allen showed some signs of being a good quarterback, but he struggled in some situations. It’s expected to have a second year player to struggle. It’s going to happen. However, there were times where Allen was just awful. This year, he needs to step it up. Buffalo’s passing offense was not good last season, despite having some good receivers (John Brown and Cole Beasley). Now that Diggs is a Bill, there are hopes that the passing offense will be top ten in the league. No excuses, Allen needs to take it to the next level this upcoming season.

Next up is the offensive line. They need to protect Allen better so he doesn’t have to escape the pocket every single play. If they can give him good protection for a good part of each game, then Allen will be successful. They can’t be perfect every play but for the majority of each game will be ideal. A good example is the game against the Dallas Cowboys last season on Thanksgiving. There was a play where the offensive line blocked so well that Allen just stood perfectly still like a statue for two or three seconds, but it seemed like ten seconds. That’s how much time Allen had to find an open receiver and throw the ball. If they can play good consistently, then it will be really good for the team and Allen.

Lastly, sophomore running back Devin Singletary needs to do a better job of protecting the ball. As a rookie he dropped the ball four times. He has the speed to be a good running back but if he can just fix up his ball handling, then he’s all set to go.

Staying healthy and winning the most games in the AFC East also needs to happen but that’s common sense. The most important thing is Allen improving, that’s the number one thing in my opinion. There are other scenarios that need to happen but it is critical that Josh gets better. With the improvements made in the offseason, it is very possible the Bills could win the AFC East for the first time in a long time.

Q&A: The Bandits’ Chase Fraser

Chase Fraser, the third-year forward for the National Lacrosse League’s Buffalo Bandits, is having a great season. In only eight games played this season, Fraser has 16 goals and 10 assists. The Bandits are looking to win it all this year after losing to the Calgary Roughnecks. At this moment, the Bandits are currently sitting in second place in the North Division and have the second-best record in their division (7-4). With a very lethal offense, the team has a great chance to get back into the finals this season. Recently, the Scribe’s Zach Jezioro had a chance to interview the star forward.

The Scribe: What made you want to become a lacrosse player?

Chase Fraser: I was watching a game and I saw a huge brawl break out. I said to myself “I want to be in that.” Also, my brother plays lacrosse as well

TS: Who inspires you the most?

CF: My uncle.

TS: Why did you choose the number 95?

CF: It was the year I was born.

TS: After a disappointing finish last season, what’s motivating the team to win it all this year?

CF: Having a gritty attitude and also having a stronger mentality.

TS: Is there any atmosphere like Banditland?

CF: Not even close, nothing compares to it.

TS: What do you hope to achieve by the end of your career?

CF: Winning a championship with whatever team I play for, finishing top ten in points, and winning the MVP.

TS: What’s it like playing with this group of players?

CF: It’s great. We always make sure we’re on the same page and we always motivate each other.

TS: What’s it like playing for John Tavares?

CF: It’s awesome, he brings so much knowledge and it really benefits me and the rest of the team.

The Scribe: Line Changes

Scribe reporter Zach Jezioro recently did a podcast with two of his buddies about some things in the sporting world. On the episode, we discussed the Mookie Betts trade and our thoughts on it. Staying in the baseball category, we also gave our predictions about the AL East. Transitioning into the NFL, we talked about the Super Bowl and gave our thoughts about tight end Greg Olsen visiting the Buffalo Bills. Then, we talked about the recent struggles of the Buffalo Sabres. To wrap up the show, we touched a little bit on the Buffalo Bandits.