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2008 Year End Statistics

TOTAL FIRST DOWNS 287 293
FIRST DOWNS (Rushing-passing-by penalty) 107 - 167 - 13 113 - 167 - 13
THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS 81/203 73/202
FOURTH DOWN CONVERSIONS 7/16 8/16
TOTAL OFFENSIVE YARDS 4882 5217
OFFENSE (Plays-Average Yards) 956 - 5.1 971 - 5.4
TOTAL RUSHING YARDS 1842 1946
RUSHING (Plays-Average Yards) 439 - 4.2 455 - 4.3
TOTAL PASSING YARDS 3040 3271
PASSING (Comp-Att-Int-Avg) 309 - 479 - 15 - 6.9 301 - 492 - 10 - 7.0
SACKS 24 38
FIELD GOALS 30/38 34/41
TOUCHDOWNS 35 34
(Rushing-Passing-Returns-Defensive) 16 - 14 - 2 - 3 18 - 14 - 0 - 2
TIME OF POSSESSION 30:03 29:56
TURNOVER RATIO -8

Opponents are on the right and Buffalo Bills are on the left

Two things that jumped out to me are in purple.  Turnover ratio and sacks.  If you scan the rest of the stats here you can see overall we are right on par with our opponents in most stats. 

As Brian has pointed out - if we were more careful with the ball and had our turnover ratio closer to even we could easily be in the playoffs right now.  Especially when looking at games like Cleveland in which we should have won.

The sack differential needs to be fixed.  We all know that getting pressure on the QB is vital - but we really dropped the ball in that department and got sacked too many times.  Getting a FA or drafting a pass rusher is a must.

I highlighted in grey the field goals and yardage by our opponents.  The reason I did this was because it shows that our "bend but don't break" philosphy is working.  I am not a huge fan of this defense - but even if you look at touchdowns we have one more than our opponents.  The theory is working - however it makes it tough for the offense to get good field position - which backs them up and makes it overall much tougher for the offense.  Which is a reason I am not a fan of the Tampon 2 bend but don't break defense.

The reason I wanted to do this post was to show everyone that we really are not that far off.  I know we played a cup cake schedule, but we are not getting blown out of games and the margin of victory for any game is usually very close.   I think it was a decent decision to retain DJ because of the lack of options out there - plus the fact that Cowher or Schottenheimer will be available next year most likely.  I know they are not banking on trying to get one of those two - but the option is out there and Bills fans can at least hope if things don't work out we have one of those two to turn to.

Lets see what DJ can do this last year.  We play a much more difficult schedule (AFC/NFC South) but they realize that the fans are not happy which I believe will make them spend some $$ on at least two good free agents.  Plus the continued development of key players like Trent, Leodis and S. Johnson will help the Bills next year more than this year.

All is not lost in Bills land by looking at our stats this year compared to our opponents.  We need those few playmakers in order to take that next step.   Stop turning the ball over should be a priority in OTAs and camp while getting pressure on the opposing QB should also be addressed.  Hopefully the "inner circle" will get us a few playmakers in FA and draft a good pass rushing DE in the first this year.

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of BuffaloRumblings.com.

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