Buffalo Bills

Thursday Thought: The Bills Offense Leaves Fans With More Questions Than Answers

Through four games this season the Buffalo Bills offense remains a mystery. No one knows exactly how good or bad this offense really is.

Last Sunday’s loss to the New England Patriots was a slug-fest for the Buffalo Bills. It was  a sloppy, defensive battle and the Bills fell 16-10 in a game that saw a combined 14 punts, 34 combined first downs, and five combined turnovers. The takeaways were simple. The defense: elite. Special teams: not great. Offense: I don’t know?  

What is the state of the Bills offense in 2019? Are they good? Are they bad? Are they just okay? It’s tough to get a sense for this unit. While there are areas that look good, there are  other areas look real poor.

If you think the offense is good/on the way up, you are likely looking at a few specific aspects: the Bills yards per game, willingness to be exotic, and modern concepts being implemented (RPOs for example). This is a valid argument to make. When’s the last time the Bills had a top 10 offense? Was it the days of the K-Gun in the 90s? It’s been a long time since the Bills have had an offense that can consistently move the football and sustain drives. 

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Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

On top of that, seeing modern day play concepts run by the Bills is incredibly refreshing. If you told me two years ago that the Bills would be running RPOs, screens, and misdirection, I would have said you’re crazy. Sure enough, we’ve seen this from Brain Daboll in the first four games of the 2019 season. 

Lastly, the Bills willingness to be creative and exotic on offense is something that’s nice to see. Watching the Bills run well designed trick plays and interesting formations is again something I’d never imagine the Bills doing. Yet, they are. 

Of course, the offense has had its problems, and for those who do not believe in this offense yet, you have plenty of points to harp on. The two biggest problems with this offense are points and turnovers. Not enough points, too many turnovers.

The Bills are only averaging 19 points per game through the first  quarter of the season. That will not cut it most games. The offense needs to generate more points and finish drives. Too many times has the offense put together a good drive, only to have it stall out and lead to a punt. This is a huge problem that needs to be resolved sooner rather than later.

Buffalo Bills' John Brown (15) runs away from New York Jets' Marcus Maye (20) for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Buffalo Bills’ John Brown (15) runs away from New York Jets’ Marcus Maye (20) for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

The Bills are also struggling with turnovers. Through four games, the Bills have 10 turnovers, which equates to 2.5 turnovers per game. Once again, if you turn the ball over two or three times every game, you won’t win many games. This is likely the biggest issue with the offense thus far.

Ultimately, no one really knows how good or bad this offense is. All we can do is let things play themselves out and see what this offense becomes once all the new additions have time to gel a bit more. However, there is no debate that there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding this offense.       

Mitch Broder is a contributor for The Buffalo Fanatics. To contact him, email him at mitchell.broder@gmail.com or on Twitter @mitchell_broder

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