Bills OC Turk Schonert(-Fairchild) (buffalobills.com)
Warning: what you are about to read is not news. It may be to the Buffalo Bills - specifically, offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild Turk Schonert - but it's not news. Not to anybody who pays the slightest bit of attention, at least. I mean, for the love of the football gods, we talked about this exact topic two weeks ago.
The Buffalo Bills are painfully predictable on offense. In other news, the Earth is round, dinosaurs are dead and Ralph Wilson is really, really old.
We can talk ad nauseum about Buffalo's problems offensively. Most of them have to do with what has been awful offensive line play; a few center around QB Trent Edwards, as well. I'm of the opinion, however, that it's close to impossible to accomplish anything when an opponent - a professional, National Football League opponent - can reasonably guess what's coming from Edwards and the offense 91 percent of the time. Yeah - it's that bad, based on statistical evidence from Sunday's 20-10 loss to the New England Patriots. The facts...
Pass plays at New England
Buffalo called 25 pass plays on Sunday. 23 of them came from the shotgun formation; that means that on 92 percent of his passes, Edwards is in the gun. The two plays that came from under center represent 33 percent of Buffalo's "unpredictable" offensive play-calling in New England; the other two-thirds were split between ill-timed draws and the Wildcat formation. More on that in a moment.
Of the 23 shotgun pass attempts, three of them came on 3rd and 2 yards or fewer to go. The Bills did not run a single play-action pass all day, nor did they dial up a single traditional screen pass.
Run plays at New England
Buffalo called 20 run plays on Sunday. 16 of them came with Edwards lined up under center; two were shotgun draws (one of which was negated by a New England penalty), and two more came out of the Wildcat formation. The Wildcat plays are being counted as obvious runs, because let's face it - not even Miami throws consistently out of that formation. That means 18 of 20 (90 percent) Bills run plays fall under the "predictable" category.
The complete picture
Of the 45 plays the Bills dialed up in New England, a whopping 41 of them - 91.1 percent - were as predictable as a pro wrestling match. 91.1 percent of the time on Sunday, we could quite easily predict what the Bills were about to do offensively in terms of run and pass. If we knew what was coming, what the hell did Bill Belichick know?
I laughed out loud on numerous occasions as I re-watched the film on this game. Watching the Bills' offense is like behind handed the winning numbers for the lottery. It's laughable knowing what's coming - until, that is, you realize how incredibly pathetic it is.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that this predictability is, in fact, the root of all of Buffalo's issues offensively. 92 percent of the time, opponents can blitz without gambling and confuse Edwards with complex coverages. 90 percent of the time, opponents can stack the box with Edwards under center and not worry about getting beat deep. Want to blame Edwards? Want to blame the offensive line? Feel free. Nothing is going to change, however, until the Bills start getting a bit more creative offensively.
Anyone know somebody "famous"?
Spread the word, Bills fans. Know Turk Schonert-Fairchild? Print this article off and slap him across the face with it. Know someone in the "traditional" media? Politely request that they stop asking stupid questions and explore this one. This needs to be discussed on a much broader level than it currently is. The vast majority of Buffalo's issues during this losing streak of theirs can be traced back to this singular problem.
We're just lowly bloggers, after all. What do we know, right? Apparently nothing - except what ails the Buffalo Bills, that is.
Buffalo Rumblings is not responsible for physical, mental or possession-related side effects produced by this article. Reader must digest this information at their own risk - if indigestion is not a direct side effect, that is. Possible side effects include - but are not limited to - nausea, vomiting, exploding brains, fits of rage, and/or broken computer monitors.