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Bills offense a league best in September

Posted Sep 26, 2012


As the Bills learned last season it’s not how you start, but how you finish. Of course there’s nothing wrong with a strong start, and as far as Buffalo’s offense is concerned they’ve again been extremely productive when it comes to putting points on the board. Taking a look at their offensive output in September games over the past two seasons the Bills have been a veritable juggernaut attack.

In games played in September from 2011-2012 Buffalo leads the league in points per game with an impressive 33.3 points per outing in those six games with one to go this Sunday against New England. The Bills also have a 5-1 record during that span, which is tied for best in the NFL with Houston.

For Bills head coach Chan Gailey, he’s pleased with the point production, but assures it’s anything but easy.

“I worry about it every day,” he said. “It just doesn’t happen. You have to have players that go make it happen. We’ve been fortunate we’ve had guys to make the plays we needed to make and the line has played extremely well to this point which always helps you. When you don’t give up sacks and run the football it makes life a lot easier.”

Running the football hasn’t been a problem for Buffalo. Fred Jackson got off to a hot start last season and C.J. Spiller was tearing it up early this season. It’s why the Bills lead the league in September games (2011-2012) with 999 yards rushing, 48 yards better than the Eagles despite 15 fewer rushing attempts.

“You have to be able to run the football,” said Spiller. “It’s not going to always look pretty, but I think it we can scatter the negative plays when we’re running it we’ll be fine. They’re going to get us sometimes and we’re going to get them. Hopefully we’ll get them more than they get us, but you can’t just get away from the run game.”

Sacks allowed have also been at a minimum. Buffalo led the league in fewest sacks allowed last season, so it’s not surprising to see that the Bills in September games the past two years have surrendered a league best two quarterback takedowns.

“They’ve done a good job up front for the most part, keeping me clean and controlling the line of scrimmage,” said Ryan Fitzpatrick. “It’s been big for us.”

And though Fitzpatrick may have his detractors there’s no arguing his production these past two Septembers. He not only has the fifth-best passer rating in the league over that span (99.8), but he also has thrown more touchdown passes (17) than any other quarterback in football. New Orleans’ Drew Brees is second with 16 and New England’s Tom Brady is third with 15 in September games (2011-2012).

“A lot of people give him a hard time and he’s not your prototypical guy and he doesn’t have the big name, but I think he’s better than people give him credit for,” said Gailey. “I think that Fitz is an underrated quarterback because what he does is he goes out there, he knows everything that’s happening on the field. He knows where to throw the football. He’s smart to be able to take advantage of what we’re trying to do offensively. You can’t rattle that guy. He’s amazing in that respect.”

Those 17 touchdown passes by Fitzpatrick are a main factor in the Bills league-leading total of 26 touchdowns scored in those September games. The Saints (22) and Patriots (21) are second and third respectively.

The Bills are undoubtedly hoping their offensive point production continues come the last day of September this Sunday. Of course trying to sustain it for the 12 games that remain after their Week 4 clash with New England is the main goal. The players are confident with a innovative play caller like Chan Gailey and continuity on offense they have a good shot at it.

“Chan is a creative offensive coach,” said Eric Wood. “We’re not predictable and that’s how you create a good offense. Some weeks we’re going to run the ball a ton, some weeks we’re going to pass the ball a ton. A lot of it has to do with what the defense is going to give us. We’re just trying to be whatever is going to work.”