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Bills-Bengals: NGS highlights Buffalo’s struggles

17 + 14 did not equal 6 in a game it needed to

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Next Gen Stats (NGS) dropped its weekly accumulation of statistics from the NFL Divisional Round of the playoffs. While it usually highlights Buffalo Bills players’ successes and notable stats, it was the opposite after the Bills were routed 27-10 at home by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Let’s refrain from more talks about what went wrong in Buffalo’s final game of the season (for my sanity), and instead here just focus on the stats provided by NGS before we move toward the offseason.

Buffalo lost the battle in the trenches and quarterback Josh Allen suffered as a result. Allen was running for his life all game long, facing a 39.5% QB pressure rate translating into an average time to throw of 3.2 seconds (most among QBs in the Divisional Round), per NGS. Allen also had the most average intended air yards (10.3) and tied for the most average completed air yards (6.2), finishing with a -4.1 average air yards differential (second largest). Despite all these factors, Allen still had the most passing attempts (42) and yards (265) but finished the game with a 68.1 passer rating (third lowest), his second-lowest passer rating of the season behind only the New York Jets game in Week 9 (46.8).

Per NGS, three Bengals pass rushers recorded 4-plus pressures. In the first half alone, Cincinnati’s defense featured five different players with multiple pressures — generating a 44.4% pressure rate. Buffalo allowed a season-high pressure rate in the previous week during Super Wild Card Weekend against the Miami Dolphins (47.8%).

Wide receiver Stefon Diggs expressed his frustrations for the world to see after hauling in just four of 10 targets for 35 yards. He was looked for downfield often, however, finishing with 17.9 average targeted air yards (first) and holding a 43.4% share of the Bills’ total air yards.

Wide receiver Gabe Davis struggled with drops yet again but hauled in a 25-yard reception that had a completion probability of 30.0% and an air distance of 38.1 yards while having just 1.3 yards of separation from the sideline. In the postseason since 2020, Davis has +6.8 receptions over expected on 10+ air yard targets — double any other player, per NGS.

Tight end Dawson Knox’s fourth-quarter, 32-yard catch was the most improbable among TEs in the Divisional Round (36.3%). He finished the game by catching five of seven targets for 65 yards (fifth-most among receivers).

Even the Bills’ defense was highlighted for how poor it played. Per NGS, the defense allowed a season-high 85 yards before contact against the Bengals after allowing the fewest such yards per carry in the regular season.