Through five games this season, the Buffalo Bills lead the NFL in red zone scoring, having converted trips inside the 20 into touchdowns on 75 percent of their opportunities this season. Bills head coach Chan Gailey chalked up the team's prowess down close to the simple explanation of clean execution.
"Our guys have a great understanding - especially our quarterback - of what we're trying to get done down there," Gailey said Wednesday. "If you look at it, we're not using a ton of different plays. We're just putting different guys in different spots to do them, and (Ryan Fitzpatrick) is finding the open guy. Those guys understand what we're trying to get done, and doing a good job of executing. They're doing a great job of executing in the red zone."
Unsolicited, Gailey also pointed to the increased red zone role of tight end Scott Chandler as the biggest personnel reason for the team's success in the red zone.
"Probably if you said there was one thing, it's probably the emergence of Scott Chandler in the red zone that's really helped us a lot," Gailey said. "Because you can still run the ball now. It's not just pass-only, he can come in there and block or he can slip out and make some plays in the red zone, which he has."
Chandler has four receiving touchdowns this season despite entering 2011 with just one regular season catch on his resume.
The Bills have thinned out considerably at wide receiver, however, thanks to injury - the latest being a high ankle sprain for the team's best deep threat, Donald Jones. Gailey was asked if he had concerns about stretching the field moving forward, and Gailey didn't seem too concerned.
"There's different ways to stretch the field," Gailey said. "You don't have to stretch it vertically; you can stretch it horizontally. Sometimes you have to allow your guys to go do what they can do, and if it's not running down the field, then maybe you do other things with them to give them an opportunity to be successful.
"We'd like to get (vertical) more, but we were able to go win this past week without doing the same things," Gailey continued. "You have to adjust, and that's what we're about, is adjusting."