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The Bills’ Unsung Heroes of The 2018-19 Season



Levi Wallace

It seems as though every year there are multiple players on the Buffalo Bills with hidden talent that just don’t get the love they deserve from popular media. Some of these cases are downright offensive. Tre’Davious White being snubbed for defensive rookie of the year as well as missing the Pro Bowl both of his first years playing is a head scratcher, but that’s Buffalo. Other cases like Nick O’Leary during his time in Buffalo are easier to understand. At any rate, the Bills are a hotspot for hidden talent deserving recognition. These are a few players (in no particular order) that I believe fall into this category.

The first of these players is Levi Wallace. The Bills called Wallace up from the practice squad in week 11. Within a couple of weeks he was already making a significant impact in the secondary. In seven weeks of play Wallace accumulated 37 total tackles and three defended passes, earning him a grade of 83.5 from Pro Football Focus. He showed himself as one of the stronger cornerbacks of the 2018 class and as an undrafted free agent was certainly hidden talent. This 2018 redraft had the Lions taking Wallace in the first round at pick 20, showing just how effective he was. As of now, Wallace is the Bills’ CB2 and will compete in spring to hold that spot. If his 2018 play sample is any indication of what can be expected, he won’t have trouble with that.

The second player on this list is Matt Milano. Milano has started to gain more recognition and many Bills fans are already well aware of this young linebacker’s potential. That said, he still lacks recognition deserved from around the league. Milano has been a superstar since being drafted in the fifth round out of Boston College earning starting time and putting up numbers to keep him there. In 13 games this season, Milano had 78 total tackles, three interceptions, and three fumble recoveries. These are not just “better than you’d expect” numbers. These are real, defensive playmaking numbers. He was extremely versatile over the season and proved to be a huge problem for offenses. Milano has a great career ahead of him if he stays on this pace.

Lastly, and bringing the offense some attention is Chris Ivory. Ivory and his role in the offense were often overshadowed. Offensive line problems, questions surrounding McCoy, and Josh Allen’s first year as a Bill often took the attention away. Ivory was not a workhorse, but he played a key role in the Buffalo’s offense this season. His 385 yards and 3.3 yards per carry are subpar to say the least. However, it was the passing game that made him valuable to the team. Ivory had 13 receptions and 205 receiving yards for a whopping 15.8 yards per reception. In fact, Pro Football Focus had Ivory graded the highest of anyone on the Bills’ offense this season. While we are used to seeing McCoy dance around defenders, Ivory didn’t trick defenders into giving him yards – he just took them. He was a very valuable outlet for Josh Allen over the season. More importantly, Ivory showed displays of a competitive flame that seemed to pull Buffalo out of offensive apathy more than once this season.