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What Direction is the Buffalo Bills Offense Headed?



Rhetoric surrounding the Buffalo Bills offense last year was not kind, and for good reason. The team started the season on a historically poor pace, getting blown out in their first two games, looking pathetic all the while. It was a performance that made eyes of fans bleed. Granted, the return of Josh Allen gave the offense a breath of life, and the offense finished out on a strong note. Yet, it still lacked an identity, which begs the question: what type of offense will we see from the Bills in the 2019 season? There’s no real answer for that question, given OTAs provide zero insight to what the team is scheming. One thing is for certain though; the direction fans want the offense to go is probably far different than what the coaches desire.

What the fans want.

One abbreviated word: K-Gun. Or a modern version of it for that matter, one that includes Allen eviscerating defenses with the tree trunks attached to his torso. One that has four wide receivers split wide, and one that has three running backs rotating on a situational basis. I think all Bills fans yearn for an offense that can efficiently push the ball down the field as well as it can complete a bubble screen. This type of successful offense would mean that the offense realized its immense potential.

However, the offense may not be ready to take that step just yet. Allen struggled mightily last year on quick, short passes, and frequently fired balls into the dirt on bubble screens and slants. Eventually, the modern K-Gun could be an option for Brian Daboll and the offense. But until the offense can prove it can produce effectively in all facets, it will remain a pipe dream.

What the fans should expect.

Probably something similar to the type of offense the Carolina Panthers have run the last few years. An offense that relies on the running game to open up opportunities down field. Lots of power running and setting up the play action for Allen’s rocket. Sean McDermott was on the staff for some of those offenses, and saw success. The resemblances extend past McDermott. The Panthers offense have employed a set of skill players similar to those the Bills currently roster.

The Panthers have long gone with a running back rotation (see Deangelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Christian McCaffrey, Mike Tolbert, etc). After drafting Devin Singletary and signing Frank Gore and TJ Yeldon, the Bills have placed a priority on running the ball. Dawson Knox has drawn pro comparisons to Greg Olsen. The wide receivers of each team feature a mismatch of speed, physicality, and route running. Each team features mobile, strong armed quarterbacks. It will be interesting to see if Daboll decides to incorporate more run-pass option into the offense, because that would be the next step towards imitating the Panthers. The two teams are even holding joint practices this summer… Regardless, expect a more structured version of last year, with an emphasis on a better run and play action game.