I want to start by saying normally these stats are more “number nerdy” and have a more entertaining tone, but after the Week 10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings and some odd trends over the last few weeks, a new tale needs to be told. The Buffalo Bills suffered their second straight loss Sunday, a 33-30 overtime thriller to Minnesota. This loss sets the Bills back to 6-3 overall and in third place in the AFC East. It also raises more questions about the one-time clear Super Bowl favorites. So, here are my five “would you believe me if I said…” stats from your Buffalo Bills.
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Would You Believe Me If I Said… the Bills have been bad the second half recently?
Through the first five weeks of the season, the Bills had outscored opponents 70-7 in the second half of games. They also won the second half versus the Chiefs. Coming out of halftime was one of their strong suits. That has all changed since they had their bye. In those three games, they were topped by the Packers 10-3, Jets 10-3, and the Vikings 20-6 in the third and fourth quarters (or overtime). That is a total of 40-12 in favor of the Buffalo opponents since they came out of their bye week. Even more concerning is the fact that the Bills have notched ZERO touchdowns in the second half over this three-game stretch. Just one touchdown in the Jets and Vikings games instead of a field goal, and Buffalo is 3-0, not 1-2, and still atop the AFC. Whether it is Ken Dorsey’s play calling, Josh Allen turning the ball over (we’ll get to that), Sen McDermott getting conservative, or all of the above, something needs to change if the Bills are going to return to the Super Bowl favorites we all think they can be.
Would You Believe Me If I Said… Josh Allen has been an enigma wrapped in a conundrum of late?
If you’ve watched the games, you know Josh Allen has not been himself the last three weeks. It is hard for some to read, but he has been a major part of the problem with them going 1-2 over that time. The main issue is his lack of respect for the importance of the pigskin. In the last three weeks, Allen has six interceptions to go with just three passing touchdowns. During this period, he has also put the ball on the ground three times while scoring just two rushing TDs. When your team is losing games by just three points, this simply can’t keep happening. The Bills’ signal-caller now leads the league in picks at ten and has the most total turnovers at 13. I still feel Allen is the best QB in football below the neck, but right now we’re oddly seeing a lot of the mistakes he needed to correct in 2018 above the shoulders.
Would You Believe Me If I Said… Diggs needs help?
One of the things I was excited about when Ken Dorsey took over as offensive coordinator was the idea that he would scheme up an offense that would get more pass catchers involved. After ten games, this has been the Stefon Diggs show. Diggs currently has 72 receptions on the season while the rest of the WRs have 69. The Maryland product has 985 receiving yards, and his fellow WRs combine for 1,009. Thankfully Gabe Davis is still a touchdown machine. Entering Week 11, Diggs leads the Bills with seven, Davis has five, and the rest of the group has four. We expect Diggs to lead the Bills’ pass catchers in most stats, but a glance around the AFC East, and it isn’t this wide of a gap between the top dog and his counterparts.
Would You Believe Me If I Said… the Bills gave up on their running backs?
It’s been well documented by myself, and the rest of the Cover 1 team that the Bills don’t or can’t utilize their running backs. Apparently, their answer to this was to give up on them entirely late in the loss to Minnesota. Over the final 23:04 of the game (all but one play of the fourth quarter and overtime, Buffalo ran the ball just once. It was a seven-yard gain by James Cook on their first possession in the fourth. I don’t know what to say to add to this. The Buffalo Bills decided it wasn’t worth running the ball with their six active running backs in a game they once led 27-10 in the third quarter.
Average defenders in the box in the Red Zone over the last 3 games.
5 – 15%
6 – 53%
7 – 21%
8 – 9%
9 – 3%
— Cover 1 (@Cover1) November 14, 2022
Would You Believe Me If I Said… the secondary snap counts are confusing?
I believe in a perfect world, Sean McDermott, Leslie Frazier, and Brandon Beane envisioned starting Tre White, Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, and Kaiir Elam in their secondary. The NFL is far from a perfect world, and all four of those guys were out with injuries on Sunday. It appeared the Bills found a quick fix at safety by trading for former Bill Dean Marlowe, but instead, it was former UDFA cornerback Cam Lewis who saw the bulk of the snaps. Let me be clear here and say that I am a huge Cam Lewis fan. I’ve covered him since he was a freshman at UB. I did a feature story on him with the Bulls where he told me that he and his friends would play Madden and the winner got to put a boxing glove on and punch the loser. That story still brings a smile to my face as it’s such a dude thing to do. As much as I like Cam, I was a little confused with him being rolled out for 95% of the snaps at safety, a position he was making his first start at. It might not seem so egregious that Lewis earned so many snaps had the newly re-acquired Marlowe seen the field for more than one snap. ONE FREAKING SNAP!
— Greg Vorse TV (@GregVorse) November 14, 2022