The 2017 season is in the books for the Buffalo Bills and what a journey it turned out to be. There was no shortage of new faces at One Bills Drive, especially among the coaching ranks. One of the biggest question marks within this group was none other than Rick “Rico” Dennison.
Dennison inherited the number one rushing offense in the league (in both yards per game and per play). Buffalo had maintained this title for two years under former offensive coordinators Greg Roman and Anthony Lynn. Their potent rushing attack had the Bills 12th and 10th (tied) in points under their tenure. With most of the foundation of that running game still at Dennison’s disposal, let’s take a look at how he fared in 2017.
- Installed a zone blocking scheme that players openly acknowledged was challenging for them to implement.
- Saw starting wide receivers Sammy Watkins traded and Anquan Boldin retire during the preseason.
- Injuries to prominent skill positions players such as Jordan Matthews and Kelvin Benjamin, created roster shuffles.
- Rushing rank fell to 6th place in yards per game and 14th in yards per rush (about 40 yards less per game than 2016).
- The passing game failed to pick up the slack, falling to 31st in yards per game and 27th in yards per pass. These were 30th and 26th the year before.
- Dennison’s squad was sixth in third down conversion percent, up from 13th.
- Red zone percentage fell from 6th (tied) to 21st, with goal-to-go conversions also falling slightly to 27th in the league (from 23rd).
- Time of possession fell from 24th to 30th under Dennison.
- Scoring fell to 22nd in the league with 18.9 points per game, nearly 6 points less than 2016.
- Finished with eighth in interceptions (10), seventh in fumbles (6), and sixth in overall turnovers, part of the team’s seventh place finish in turnover differential (+9).
Do you approve of the job Rick Dennison has done?
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