Friday, March 24 2023

The Buffalo Bills offense isn’t firing as it should. Josh Allen isn’t performing on the consistently elite level that we have come to expect from him. And while it is rare to have the opportunity to add a game-changing talent in Week 12, the Bills can do just that. 

They can sign Odell Beckham Jr.

Would they rather add a power running back or a bulldozer of an offensive lineman? Sure. That’s really more of what they need. But Beckham is the best they can get. And it makes some sense. 

It’s not like this offense is really ailing. In Week 9, the Bills had a rough outing against the New York Jets defense, which reaffirmed its elite status by holding the Patriots offense to three points on Sunday. (New England got a special teams touchdown to win the game 10-3.) In Week 10, the Bills offense put up 30 points against a really good Vikings team. 

Overall, Buffalo is scoring the second-most points per game (28.1) with the third-most passing yards per game (283.3). We’re not looking at an offense at a time of desperate need. And perhaps that’s why the Bills seem to be slipping out of contention for Beckham, with the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys vying aggressively for Beckham’s services. He’ll visit both of them after Thanksgiving. 

OBJ exchanges tweets with Micah Parsons after Cowboys win

Odell Beckham Jr. noticed the Cowboys’ dominance Sunday, tweeting “they went crazy today” followed by the eye emoji. Micah Parsons responded with “come on then” and DeMarcus Lawrence chimed in saying, “they sure did, make the right decision.” Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe discuss the possibility of OBJ landing with the Cowboys.

The Bills have to get back in the mix.

Buffalo is showing a greater depth of offensive production than it has in recent weeks. The Bills actually got their running game going on Sunday against the Cleveland BrownsDevin Singletary had 18 carries for 86 yards and a touchdown. Even more impressive, James Cook had 11 carries for 86 yards. The rookie running back finally seems poised to bring that explosive element to the Buffalo offense. He put up runs of 29 yards, 17 yards and 16 yards in Week 11. The Bills made better use of those backs than they have in previous games.

As for the passing game, after a few weeks of growing overly reliant upon Stefon Diggs, the Bills got the ball to tight end Dawson Knox for seven catches and 70 yards. Receiver Gabe Davis had solid numbers, too: five catches, 68 yards.

So you’re wondering: Why go after Beckham? Because the Bills did all that against the Browns. Cleveland has allowed the second-most points per game in the NFL (26.9). They are playing supremely bad defense. It’s not surprising that the Bills enjoyed a get-right game. (Although, it wasn’t flawless: Davis had a brutal drop on the second drive, and Allen started the game 4-of-10 in the passing game. Both players recovered.)

It would be equally unsurprising to see Buffalo experience offensive issues again, particularly when they face AFC East division rivals in the Jets and the Patriots (twice). To make matters worse, the Bills will likely be in shootouts with the Lions on Thanksgiving, the Dolphins in Week 15 and the Bengals in Week 17.

It’s a tough run ahead in a division that currently features four teams with winning records.

The Bills can’t afford to let Beckham slip through their fingers. As good as their offense may be, it needs to be truly special. They need more to get into the playoffs and make their Super Bowl run.

The veteran receiver is 30 years old and coming back from an ACL injury. There’s no guarantee he can make an impact in 2022. Frankly, there’s no guarantee his can make an impact, period. But he’s worth the risk because Allen is just the quarterback who can get the most out of the wideout.

Von Miller predicts Odell Beckham Jr. will sign with Buffalo

In mid-October, Von Miller doubled down on his prediction that OBJ would join him as a member of the Bills. Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe react to the possibility of OBJ joining Josh Allen, Stefan Diggs and the Bills offense.

Even with Allen’s elite arm strength, his average depth of target (9.2) ranks eighth. That’s really good, but it can be even better. Last year, Beckham had an average depth of target of 13.9. But Beckham isn’t just a deep threat. He wasn’t afraid to catch the ball over the middle to move the chains. He caught 14 passes on 18 targets on short and intermediate passes between the numbers with the Rams last year.

The Bills are absolutely loaded. There’s no refuting that. As a result, they have practically zero salary cap space. But Buffalo is in the YOLO phase of Allen’s career. He is going to be playing his best football for the next five years. Why not get him as many weapons as possible, especially after seeing plenty of inconsistency from WR2 Davis?

Beckham is set to make his decision in the coming week. The Bills should make sure they’re one of his top options.

Prior to joining FOX Sports as the AFC East reporter, Henry McKenna spent seven years covering the Patriots for USA TODAY Sports Media Group and Boston Globe Media. Follow him on Twitter at @McKennAnalysis.

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