The Buffalo Bills turned in another disappointing performance and this time it resulted in a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. None of the three phases had great outings and it’s left the fan base divided on who to blame.
Prominent football analyst Aaron Schatz of FTN Network has one possible answer for who to blame. Schatz pulled the numbers for the Bills’ average starting line of scrimmage for Weeks 1 through 4 and Weeks 5 through 9. The first four weeks, the Bills’ average drive start was at the 32.4 yard line. The last five weeks their average start was at the 24.4 yard line. Schatz goes on to state that Buffalo’s defense is the side of the ball to blame. In fact, if you look at all of the Bills’ drives this season game-by-game, the average starting line of scrimmage in the Bengals game (19.5) is second-worst all season, only behind the London game against the Jacksonville Jaguars (19.45). The average start across all games in the NFL this season is 28.7.
Schatz’s analysis does point to one reason why the Buffalo Bills’ offense has had a tough go so far this season, but the poor starting line of scrimmage is also partially their fault. If they aren’t moving the ball then their opponent’s starting line of scrimmage will be better and the Bills’ defense will have a harder time getting a stop and improving the offense’s next opportunity. Complementary football, as head coach Sean McDermott might say.