Bills Must Avoid Slow Starts In First, Third Quarters

In 2009, the Buffalo Bills went through several lengthy stretches of games in which they allowed their opponents to post the opening score of the game. Those early deficits were a major factor in Buffalo's 6-10 finish, and things haven't changed much in the team's first season under Chan Gailey.

Buffalo has been outscored 23-3 in the first quarter this season. In each of their three games, they've rebounded well enough to be within striking distance at halftime, trailing by seven against Miami, six against Green Bay and one against New England at the break. However, that's usually undone soon thereafter, as Bills opponents have outscored Buffalo 28-7 in the third quarter this season.

The Bills have been outscored by 40 total points in their three losses. They've been outscored by 41 points in the first and third quarters combined, so clearly, they way they're finishing halves isn't the problem at this point in time. Gailey and his coaching staff must do a better job of getting the Bills off to a quick start, and anticipating opponents' adjustments at the halftime break to help alleviate their slow starts in the second half.

The New York Jets - Buffalo's Week 4 opponent - have yet to allow a single point in the first quarter of a game this season. They blanked New England in the third quarter in Week 2, but have given up 13 points in total in the third quarter, including 10 last week against Miami.

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