The long and awaited return for Buffalo Bills guard Jon Feliciano could not have played out better for the veteran offensive linemen. In his 2020 season debut Feliciano dominated en route to a win over the division rival New England Patriots. Going into the Bills Week 8 matchup they were ranked as the 29th rushing offense in the NFL. Averaging just 97 yards per game. They rushed for 190 yards last week. This week’s Thursday Thought: Feliciano is a priority to extend this offseason.
Not only did Feliciano’s presence help in the run game, but he brought attitude and identity to the offensive line. Not only that but early in the game center Mitch Morse left the game with a concussion. Feliciano filled in, despite not playing football since January, and played extremely well. There is no question that in one game Feliciano made a huge difference for the offense.
However, Bills fans should not be surprised. Feliciano played well last year in his first season as a full-time starter. Whether he was playing center or guard, Feliciano was the most consistent offensive linemen on the roster. He was physical and nasty in the run game, while also being dead reliable as a pass blocker. He was a revelation and an excellent signing by Brandon Beane.
Feliciano went from an unknown free agent to a fan favorite quickly. His love for the city of Buffalo, the team, and its fans created a bond between BillsMafia and the man they call, “Mongo”. It seemed as if the Beane had found the exact type of guy they look for every offseason.
Of course, 2020 didn’t get off to the best start for Feliciano. Tearing his pec in a freak incident while lifting at his home over the offseason. The timetable of his return was unclear. The impact of his injury was larger than anyone could have imagined.
The Bills offensive line could not create running lanes for Devin Singletary, Zach Moss, and even TJ Yeldon. The guard position for the Bills became a revolving door between Quinton Spain, Brian Winters, Cody Ford, and even Ike Boettger. It became the offense’s biggest weakness as the production from the interior offensive line was missing.
However, as Feliciano has always done since coming to Buffalo, he exceeded the expectations people had for him. It was believed that his return to the lineup would help, no one thought it would change the identity and dynamic of the offense.
In a contract year, Feliciano is a player that Beane and Sean McDermott would like to keep around. One thing is clear, Feliciano is far more important to the offense than anyone thought. He needs to be a priority for Beane and his staff to extend Feliciano as Buffalo Bill this offseason.