Over the course of the summer, I'm going to be taking a look at the offenses of all 32 NFL teams. Examining the QB, RB, WR, and TE positions for each team. Enjoy!
Ah, Bills Mafia. You deserve better. I haven't taken a serious look at all 32 offenses, but your Buffalo Bills offense could very well be the worst in the league. Their Bovada win total is 6.5, and it doesn't take a football guru to smash the under on that one.
The Bills were one of the luckiest teams in the league last year, making the playoffs despite ranking below average in both team offense and team defense. With non-conference games against Minnesota, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Houston, and the Los Angeles Chargers, it's safe to say the Bills will not go back-to-back in playoff appearances.
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Josh Allen was efficient on throws into the end zone last season. pic.twitter.com/vR20hZUfKZ
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 24, 2018
- AJ McCarron
- Josh Allen
- Nathan Peterman
The Bills have the rare 3-man quarterback battle heading into training camp; each contestant equally as unimpressive as the next.
In one corner, you have the current favorite, AJ McCarron. McCarron has been in the league since 2014 but seen limited action. On 133 career passing attempts, McCarron completed 86 passes for 920 yards, 6 touchdowns and two interceptions. McCarron has a career rating of 93.6. He was on the trade block last year, and he would've been a Cleveland Brown if they properly submitted the transaction in time. At the end of the day, McCarron is a perfectly acceptable bridge quarterback.
Oh brother. Josh Allen is not going to be good. I guarantee it. Any other quarterback drafted early blows Allen out of the building. Allen completed only 56.3% of his passes compared to Mayfield's 70.3%. 16 touchdown passes compared to Mayfield's 43. 6.7 yards per attempt compared to Rudolph's 10 Y/A. Granted, they're in different systems, but come on. It's really tough to make an argument for a quarterback with stats like that. Allen ranked in the top-20 in the nation in ZERO stats. Allen just isn't a Mayfield or a Rosen. Sorry, Bills Mafia, but this isn't the guy.
All I have to say about Nathan Peterman is that he threw 5 interceptions in one half. Evidently, he didn't see much playing time after that. Peterman isn't a threat to start.
LeSean McCoy dominates on outside runs in 2017! pic.twitter.com/z2QdEdbElS
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) June 14, 2018
- LeSean McCoy
- Chris Ivory
- FB: Patrick DiMarco
The only good part of the Buffalo Bills are the running backs. It's a very strong group. LeSean McCoy's extremely talented, Chris Ivory has shown RB1 potential, and Patrick DiMarco is possibly the league's best fullback.
Shady, entering the dreaded age-30 season, is still very strong. In fantasy football, McCoy scored the 7th most points in 2017 and the 3rd most points in 2016. McCoy is possibly the game's most elusive back, constantly making defenders miss in the open field. In Buffalo, he's averaged 4.6 yards per carry and 9 touchdowns per year. Simply put, Shady has shown no signs of slowing down. Buffalo would be smart to ride his legs throughout the year.
I expect Patrick DiMarco to see the field a healthy amount this year. New offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, formerly at Alabama, said in May that his scheme changes every year to fit players' strengths. Considering their quarterback situation is not ideal, Daboll would be smart to incorporate the two best players in the offense, LeSean McCoy and Patrick DiMarco. So, Daboll could run plays out of the "I-formation" often.
What this means is that the quarterback would be lined up under center with DiMarco behind and McCoy behind him. Or, DiMarco could be offset strongside (towards the right) or weakside (towards the left). Or, the quarterback could line up in shotgun with DiMarco on one side and McCoy on the other. I'm no offensive guru, but Brian Daboll would be smart to utilize Patrick DiMarco.
Kelvin Benjamin’s “lack of efficiency” with his targets has much more to do with his QBs than anything else.
Thus far, 39.1% of his NFL targets have been uncatchable, per PFF. For perspective, here are other uncatchable rates:
— Chris Trapasso (@ChrisTrapasso) June 10, 2018
- LWR: Zay Jones
- RWR: Kelvin Benjamin
Here's where it gets ugly. The Bills WR corps is so bad, they don't even plan to use a slot receiver. The de facto option is Jeremy Kerley, but there's no concrete evidence that he'll be the slot receiver. So, that leaves us with Zay Jones and Kelvin Benjamin.
Zay Jones had possibly the worst season of any receiver last year. He couldn't catch a ball to save his life! 74 targets and only 27 receptions. Very, very ugly. But, 2018 is a new year and a new opportunity for Jones. He has a chance to get going, considering him and Benjamin will receive an extremely large percentage of the WR targets. He looked great coming out of college, so here's to hoping he turns it around. However, Jones could make some tough days for whoever is under center.
Kelvin Benjamin is weird. He's talented, but has certainly had a rough start. He's one of the league's worst blocking receivers, which is absolutely ridiculous for a 240 lb. receiver. Benjamin specializes in making the contested catch, which is really not a good skill when dealing with a rookie QB, especially an inaccurate one like Josh Allen. Last year, the Carolina Panthers were a much more efficient offense after Kelvin Benjamin was traded. At the end of the day, Benjamin's stats will look good because he's the number one option in Buffalo, and he's 6"5. But, he's not a good receiver and anybody watching him would agree.
Charles Clay has been tough to bring down! pic.twitter.com/jeFSZHyspr
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 9, 2018
- Charles Clay
- Nick O'Leary
Upon further review, Charles Clay is better than I thought. In only 13 games last year, Clay managed a 49/558/2 line. If Clay can build a nice rapport with all of the quarterbacks this year, he could find himself within the top-15 tight ends in fantasy football.
OC Brian Daboll will most likely run some formations with both Charles Clay and Nick O'Leary involved. Exploited by the Patriots, the two tight end formation can be excellent when executed properly. Daboll can run an ace tight formation with two TEs, two WRs and one back. Daboll could run a split tight end formation with Charles Clay lined up outside. As mentioned by Bleacher Report in 2013, the two tight end set kills a 3-4 defense.
This Bills offense isn't great, and they won't light up the scoreboard. But, if executed properly, they can certainly limit turnovers and have a respectable year.
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