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Buffalo Bills vs. Carolina Panthers: One Stat Recap

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Brian Daboll’s offense looks different than what we’re used to seeing

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills had their first live action of the 2018 season in their preseason game against the Carolina Panthers. Preseason games are tough to evaluate due to vanilla game plans and small sample size for most players. However, one stat from Thursday night revealed a good amount about the Bills’ quarterbacks and potentially more about their offensive coordinator.

One Stat Recap: Buffalo Bills vs Carolina Panthers

Who else saw something different about the Bills offense last night?

Posted by BuffaloRumblings.com on Friday, August 10, 2018

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That stat is yards per attempt. Last night the Bills, as a team, had a yards per attempt average of 9.32. Nathan Peterman and AJ McCarron had stellar YPAs of 11.9 and 11.6, respectively. Josh Allen’s YPA of 6.1 was less than stellar, but still not terrible. So, why is this important? Over the last ten NFL regular seasons the Bills have only posted a net yards per attempt over 9 a total of five times. That is tied with the Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars for last place in the NFL over that time. Check out the list on pro-football-reference.com. The top ten teams have done it at least 15 times—three times as much as the Bills.

Before I start crowning Brian Daboll and whoever wins the quarterback competition as the next coming of Ted Marchibroda and Jim Kelly (the Bills had a YPA over 9 a whopping 20 times over Kelly’s 11 seasons), I need to pump the brakes and remember that it was just a preseason game. But before I bring the hype train to a complete halt we should look at what the Bills have done in recent preseasons. Over the last three seasons the Bills have averaged a 5.75 YPA in the preseason with just one game over 9 (2015 preseason week three against the Steelers). If Daboll and the quarterbacks can keep this up through the rest of the preseason then I think we can rightfully expect a different type of offense in Orchard Park. One that may be able to keep up with the Joneses of the NFL.