Now that the 2020 NFL season has come to a close, there will be no shortage of predictions from every expert out there. While O. J. Simpson might not be a traditional talking head, he’s still ready to share his thoughts ahead of the postseason. As you might expect, his picks have a bit of a bias toward the Buffalo Bills.
Although it’s been more than 40 years since O. J. Simpson since suited up for the Buffalo Bills, the former running back’s affections for the team don’t seem to have faded one bit. Not only does he believe the club can make it to the Super Bowl, but he’s also picking Sean McDermott as the league’s Coach of the Year.
O. J. Simpson spent most of his NFL career with the Buffalo Bills
These days, O. J. Simpson is famous for a great deal more than just playing football. During his time on the gridiron, however, he was synonymous with the Buffalo Bills.
Simpson, of course, burst onto the scene at USC, where he developed into a star. He set records as a sprinter on the track team and, during his two seasons on the football field, piled up 3,423 rushing yards, 36 touchdowns, and cruised to the 1968 Heisman Trophy.
On the back of the success, O.J. entered into the 1969 AFL-NFL draft and joined the AFL’s Buffalo Bills as the first-overall pick. While it took him a few years to hit his stride, the running back eventually showed Western New York exactly what he could do.
Once Lou Saban took charge of the Bills, Simpson exploded. In 1972, he broke the 1000-yard plateau for the first time, rushing for 1,251 yards; the following season, he put up an incredible 2,003 yards during the 14 game campaign. After a relatively slow 1974—the running back only posted a 1,125-yard campaign—Simpson posted 1,817 rushing yards in 1975 and added 1,503 more in 1976.
While O.J.’s career would tail off after that, he still earned his place in Buffalo Bills’ history. He provided the juice for the Electric Company’s offense and, despite his legal issues, still has a place on the franchise’s Wall of Fame.
Picking Sean McDermott as NFL Coach of the Year
While it’s been more than 40 years since O.J. Simpson left the NFL, he hasn’t completely left football behind. He frequently discusses the NFL on his Twitter account, and, based on his opinions, it’s clear that he hasn’t forgotten his time in Buffalo.
In a recent video, Simpson shared some of his postseason picks and award predictions. Unsurprisingly, especially given his Bills face mask, he displayed a bit of bias toward his former employer.
“Coach of the Year,” Simpson said in the Twitter video. “All year long, you know I was pushing Brian Flores of Miami. He did the most with the least but, watching the games this weekend, guys, Sean McDermott up in Buffalo. Buffalo is playing better than any team in football over the second half of the season, and they’ve won 13 games. So, [McDermott] has my choice. He gets my vote.”
While O.J. does have a good point about McDermott’s success—and the Bills head coach definitely deserves to be in the conversation—he doesn’t seem to be the leader in the clubhouse. Most publications and pundits give the edge to either Ron Rivera or Kevin Stefanski.
O.J. Simpson also has the Buffalo Bills making the Super Bowl
O.J Simpson’s Buffalo bias didn’t end there, though. The Juice also picked the Bills to make it out of the AFC and reach the Super Bowl.
“In the American League, I’ve got news for you,” O.J. explained. “I’m going with my Buffalo Bills. Of course, you better keep an eye on Baltimore right now, and I don’t want to disrespect Kansas City, but I’m going with my Bills.” For the record, he picked the Green Bay Packers to emerge from the NFC.
Similar to his Coach of the Year pick, Simpson’s playoff prediction isn’t too unreasonable, but also isn’t too popular, either. While the Bills are certainly a talented team, they’ll probably have to go through Kansas City to reach the Super Bowl; no matter how well any offense is playing, outscoring Patrick Mahomes in Arrowhead Stadium is a tough ask.
If nothing else, O.J. Simpson is still pretty devoted to his Buffalo Bills. Who knows, maybe Josh Allen and Sean McDermott will be the ones to finally get the franchise over the hump and win a Super Bowl title.
Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference