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Buffalo Bills lead NFL with average drive start at own 36

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Buffalo Bills are nearly four yards better than the rest of the league in terms of starting field position. Buffalo starts their drives on average at the 36.1-yard line, with the second-place New Orleans Saints at the 32.3. The New England Patriots are next at 31.5 and that’s when the numbers start to clump together.

The biggest factor in Buffalo’s great starting field position is their league-high 12 drive starts in opponent’s territory. That double the second place grouping with six. Buffalo is second in average punt-return yardage, with 32.6 yards on average from their five returns. They are also second in turnover percentage, nabbing the ball from the opponents on 21.3 percent of drives. Their 11 turnovers leads the league.

Couple the big plays with Buffalo’s stingy defense only allowing four yards per play, and you can see why they are doing so well on those drive starts. It’s one of the reasons Buffalo is second in converting drives to points, doing so on 52.1 percent of their possessions. That’s second only to the Kansas City Chiefs at 55.6 percent.