Bills fans are understandably frustrated by the lack of consistent football through the course of this season’s first five games. Putting together an air tight 60 minutes has proven a difficult task for the Bills and it’s an all too similar sight to what fans have witnessed in the recent past. Buffalo’s offense has found it difficult to move the ball consistently enough to sustain drives, though they have put more points on the board of late. Head coach Chan Gailey admitted that progress is taking longer than he anticipated. Though he’s not sure when the production and consistency on offense will definitively change for the better, he’s confident it will turn.
“I know the mindset of our football team,” Gailey said. “I know what kind of young men we have on our football team. I know where we want to go and we’ve got a plan to get there and that’s all I can say. We’ve got a plan. We’re going to get there. I told the players, ‘I don’t know if it’s going to take two games, five games, eight games, I don’t know how many it’s going to take, but we’re going to get there.’”
Recent Gailey coaching history in the NFL would indicate that noticeable change on offense should arrive by midseason.
Gailey’s last NFL coaching stint was in Kansas City where he served as offensive coordinator in 2008. Handed a Chiefs offensive roster that had its share of shortcomings Gailey worked to make the unit more productive on the scoreboard with each passing week.
The first three weeks of the ’08 season didn’t yield much for the Chiefs as they managed a total of 32 points in their first three games (10.66 avg.). After a 33-point outburst in Week 4 against Denver showed signs of progress, the Kansas City attack took a step back the following week getting shut out at Carolina 34-0.
The team’s Week 6 outing wasn’t much better in a 34-10 loss to Tennessee. After the Chiefs’ first six games Gailey’s offense was averaging just 12.5 points per contest. Buffalo is in a similar situation averaging 17.4 points per game in their first five outings. Chiefs fans wondered when things would improve on a consistent basis.
Midseason proved to be the time when the turn occurred. Gailey’s offense would score 20 points or more five of the next six weeks. Kansas City’s point production rarely resulted in wins because their defense was a far bigger issue than their offensive play, but come season’s end the Chiefs’ offense was putting points on the board with consistency.
After averaging less than two touchdowns per game over the first six weeks, the Chiefs attack averaged more than three touchdowns over their final 10 games (21.6 ppg) that year.
Granted it was a different team, but the 2008 Chiefs had a lot of the same deficiencies that Buffalo possesses. Gailey turned a struggling Kansas City attack into a respectable point producer. It just took a bit longer than some expected.
The Bills offense has already shown a jump in point production over their last three games. Averaging just 8.5 points per game over the first two weeks, Buffalo’s offense has averaged 23.3 points per game over their past three outings.
The offseason process involved a great deal of change on both offense and defense and more often than not that process takes a good deal of time before promising results begin to materialize on a regular basis. Though their most recent progress has yet to result in Buffalo’s first victory of the season, change for the better offensively looks to be on the come.