To borrow a quote from American writer Tom Peters, “If you’re not confused, you’re not paying attention.”
I spent far too much time thinking about how to open this stats article from the Buffalo Bills’ embarrassing loss up in New England. I was so confused about how that game happened and what to write that I looked up quotes on confusion. The one above seems to perfectly encapsulate my feelings.
Sadly, I and most of you watched every second of the 29-25 loss, and all I can think of is the great Vince Lombardi when he said, “What the hell is going on out there?” I don’t know either, Vince. I’ve rambled on long enough, but before we turn the page to this short week against the Buccaneers, let’s look back at five “would you believe me if I said…” stats coming out of Week 7.
Would You Believe Me If I Said… The Bills need a new script?
If you’ve watched any NFL game, you’ve heard the announcer talk about the teams’ offenses being on script during the beginning of the game. These 15 or 20 plays are pre-designed by the offense during the week. The Bills looked awesome during this time in their three early wins. Buffalo scored 21, 16, and 31 points in the first half of those games. In their last three games, a sad win against the Giants and a pair of losses, they have seven, zero, and three points. If you back the Bills’ slow starts back to just the first quarter, it’s even worse.
The #Bills last three 1st quarter:
— Greg Vorse (@GregVorse) October 22, 2023
Would You Believe Me If I Said… Josh Allen doesn’t have time for that?
According to Next Gen Stats, Josh Allen was significantly better on “quick passes” or less than 2.5 seconds, where he completed 17 of 17 attempts for 135 yards and two touchdowns. On plays where he held the ball for more than 2.5 seconds, he was just 10 for 24 for 130 yards and an interception. It seems counterintuitive, but when Allen had less time, he was outstanding. To me, this means that he was in the flow of the offense when he was throwing the ball quickly and less methodically.
Josh Allen, who averaged his longest time to throw in a game this season (3.26 sec), struggled when forced to hold onto the ball (10/24, 130 yards, INT over 2.5 sec).
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) October 22, 2023
Would You Believe Me If I Said… the Bills were toxic?
Another stat routinely won by the Bills early this season is toxic differential, turnovers + plays of 25 or more yards. Since the team started to stumble, this category has flipped to Buffalo’s opponents. The Patriots had two takeaways on Sunday and four plays of 25+, while the Bills had one takeaway and two plays of 25+ yards. So, the Bills lost toxic differential six to three. Not great, Bob!
Would You Believe Me If I Said… Josh Allen is no longer chunky?
This has nothing to do with Allen’s weight and everything to do with the fact that he is no longer ripping off long runs. Sticking to how poor things have gone the last three weeks, Allen’s long runs in those games were seven, six, and seven yards. Before that, he had game-long runs of 23, 14, and 11. It’s not that the lanes haven’t been there. It’s a simple fact that Allen isn’t looking to tuck it and run like he used to.
Would You Believe Me If I Said… the Bills were Cooking with Kincaid?
It’s a bummer that it came in a loss, but the Bills finally started to utilize James Cook and Dalton Kincaid together on Sunday. Kincaid led the team in receptions with eight and yards with 75. In the backfield, Cook had a team-high 13 carries for 56 yards and added three catches for 36 yards and a touchdown. This was also noticeable in the snap counts, with Kincaid getting 43 snaps, fourth among Buffalo pass catchers. Cook paced all running backs with 37 snaps.