The Buffalo Bills have hit their bye with a 5-1 record through six weeks of football. The bye week coincides with the one-third mark of the 18-week season. Sitting at the third mark is a great time to take a look at five things we know about the Bills in 2022.
Super Bowl or Bust
I know a lot of people are uncomfortable with saying it should be “Super Bowl or Bust for the Bills,” but at this point, BillsMafia should be disappointed if their squad doesn’t host a parade in downtown Buffalo come February.
The Bills are an AFC-leading 5-1 through six weeks with wins over fellow favorite Kansas City in Arrowhead. Buffalo also has wins over three more teams currently in a playoff position (Ravens, Titans, Rams). No other team can boost more such wins than that.
An easy way to see how well a team is performing on both sides of the ball is point differential, and Buffalo’s +95 is 39 points clear of second place Philadelphia. If you want a more analytical approach, our friends over at Football Outsiders have the Bills number one in both offense and defense. Furthermore, our friends over at BetUs.com have the Bills at +300 to win the Super Bowl, by far the best odds heading into week seven.
JPA = MVP
Just like the team he quarterbacks, Josh Allen is walking away with the odds to be the best at what he does. Entering week seven, the Bills’ signal-caller is +125, per BetUs.com to claim the MVP award, Jalen Hurts comes in second at +350, and the QB of the team the Bills most recently beat (Patrick Mahomes) sits at +500.
Those numbers are fun for entertainment purposes, but what Allen is doing on the field is anything but for his opponents. Josh Allen paces the NFL with 1,980 passing yards, he’s tied atop touchdown passes at 17, his QBR is 1st for QBs who have played over four games, QB rushing yards are 4th, QB rushing TDs are 2nd, and QB hurdles are 1st. His ‘on pace’ stats (as talked about in my fun stats article below) are also insane so far. A quick look: 5,610 passing yards with 48 touchdowns and 728 rushing yards with six rushing TDs. That would earn him the MVP and a spot in history.
When healthy, the Bills have arguably the NFL’s best quarterback + pass-catching quartet in Josh Allen throwing to Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, and Dawson Knox. I waxed poetic about Allen above, so we won’t dive into them again, but let’s look at the other three for a minute. Diggs leads the NFL in wide receiver touchdowns at six, his 49 receptions are 3rd, and his receiving yards rank 2nd at 656. Davis missed a game yet still ranks top 20 in yards, touchdowns, and average yards per catch. Davis’ four touchdowns are tied for 4th, and his 27.4-yard average is tops in the NFL. Tight End Dawson Knox has been dealing with a lot off the field, but he put it all together last week when the Bills needed it most, visiting their budding rival Kansas City. In that game, Knox hauled in all three of his targets for 37 yards and a score. The Bills’ quartet was lights out in that last game with Diggs adding ten catches for 148yards and a TD and Davis brought in three targets for 74 yards and a touchdown.
Circle The Wagon
The Bills’ defensive line has circled a proverbial wagon around opposing quarterbacks in 2022. The 19 sacks by Buffalo sit at 4th overall in the league, and the advanced stats like them even more. Buffalo joins Dallas as the only team with two players in the top 12 in hurries (Von Miller, Gregory Rousseau). The Bills have two of the top 15 graded pass rushers, according to Pro Football Focus, and when it mattered most, Buffalo brought their “A” game. In the 24-20 win at Kansas City, the Bills racked up 26 hurries, seven hits, three sacks, and two batted passes on Patrick Mahomes. Using high draft capital on Greg Rousseau, Ed Oliver, and Boogie Basham plus signing Von Miller and Jordan Phillips has been a huge win for Brandon Beane and the Bills.
It’s time Bills’ defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier gets another shot to be a head coach. Honestly, that time should have come last offseason, but I’ll stick to what his unit has achieved so far in 2022. Entering their bye, the Bills’ D is 2nd in yards allowed per game behind San Francisco. They’re 4th in sacks and 4th in interceptions. Here’s a fun one; you know how we often talk about a quarterback’s touchdown to interception ratio? The Bills’ defense currently has a 1:2 touchdown allowed to interception ratio at 5:10. The analytics community also loves Frazier’s freaks, Football Outsiders ranks Buffalo at the top of DVOA. Lastly, his players love him! I know BillsMafia doesn’t want to see Frazier go, but it is long overdue.
Keep an eye out in the coming days for “5 things we still don’t know about the Bills in 2022.”