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Buffalo Bills team stats: second-to-last in total offense, but still first in scoring defense

Only the Dolphins are keeping the Bills from the official “worst offense in the NFL” title.

The Buffalo Bills had a rough week in dropping a 20-16 decision to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Let’s see how this affected them in the league rankings.

*I’m going to be using a modified scoring average for offense and defense from here on out, one that removes defensive and special teams touchdowns from the equation. You can find the rankings at this link. They won’t have a huge impact on the numbers, but the rankings might be different from what you’d find elsewhere.


Passing: 165.0 (29, last week 31)
Rushing: 106.6 (16, last week 16)
Total: 271.6 (31, last week 29)
Scoring*: 16.6 (26)
Turnovers: 2 (3, last week t-2)
Third down conversion rate: 39.0% (15, last week 13)

After another week where defense and special teams outperformed the offense by a significant margin, the Bills have slipped again in the total offense ranking. They now stand in front of only the Miami Dolphins, albeit by a significant margin (40.4 yards a game). As a result, the scoring offense remains among the worst in the NFL, ahead of only teams like the Giants, Browns, and Bears. The Bills didn’t fall far in turnovers despite Tyrod Taylor’s second interception of the year, as only the Chiefs (1) and the Saints (0) have fewer through four weeks.


Passing: 234.8 (23, last week 11)
Rushing: 87.6 (9, last week 13)
Total: 322.4 (12, last week 8)
Scoring*: 14.8 (1)
Takeaways: 10 (4, last week t-4)
Sacks: 12 (t-12, last week t-10)

The Bills remain the best in the NFL when it coming to scoring defense, although the Steelers (15.4 PPG when you remove the two pick-sixes from the Jaguars game) have closed the gap. They took a noticeable spill in pass defense after Andy Dalton and the Bengals gashed them for 323 yards through the air, although the run defense jumped into the top 10 with a solid performance (65 yards allowed). The Bills forced three takeaways, but in a turnover-happy league that was only enough to keep them alone in fourth.


Turnover differential: +8 (t-2, last week t-2)
Penalties: 34 (t-13, last week t-15)
Penalty Yards: 289 (t-15, last week t-7)
Average time of possession: 28:40 (25, last week 24)

Six teams finished last season with a turnover differential of +8 or better. Five made the playoffs, including four division champions and both Super Bowl teams. (The Vikings missed while the Bills finished +6.) This year, the three teams at that mark right now are all 3-2, and the only one with an outright lead in their division is the freaking Jacksonville Jaguars.

While Pete Morelli certainly didn’t do the Bills any favors last week, the Bills were only flagged six times for 71 yards (the exact same figure as the Bengals), keeping them around the middle of the league in the discipline metrics. They do have plenty of room to improve on the possession side, though, as they sit 1:40 behind the league’s median possession time after five games.