Buffalo's latest offensive performance has the team near or atop the league in several categories heading into Week 3, but there are some other areas where the Bills are off to a good start. We take a look at the obvious and the more hidden figures for coach McDermott's crew here.
8.9 | Full throttle
Buffalo's offense was in overdrive on Sunday racking up yards with remarkable ease and in large chunks. Evidence of that came in their eight plays of 20 yards or more, including three that covered 45 yards or more. One of those was the game-clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter from Josh Allen to John Brown (46 yards).
Buffalo's 8.9 yards per play on Sunday marked the highest average gain per play in a game in the Sean McDermott era.
In fact, the Bills have not averaged more than 8.9 yards per play in a game since the season finale in Seattle in the 2000 season, when Doug Flutie, in his last game as a Bill, helped Buffalo average 9.3 yards per play in a 42-23 victory.
The Bills on that day had 579 total yards on just 62 plays. On Sunday, Buffalo had 524 total yards on just 59 plays.
729 | Allen excelling
By now most Bills fans have heard that Josh Allen is leading the league in passing yards with 729 in just two games. But Allen's first two games in 2020 have been downright historic.
In addition to the 729 passing yards, Allen's six touchdown passes and zero interceptions in the first two weeks of the 2020 season makes him just the fourth quarterback with at least 700 passing yards, six touchdown passes and zero interceptions through his team's first two games of a season in NFL history, joining Tom Brady (2015), Pat Mahomes (2019) and Peyton Manning (2013).
Allen's 417 passing yards on Sunday against the Dolphins is the highest single-game passing yardage total in the AFC so far this year. He is also the only NFL quarterback with two 300-yard passing game performances thus far.
Currently third in the NFL in passer rating (122.9) behind only Russell Wilson (140) and Lamar Jackson (134.6), Allen is also fourth in the league in third-down passing with a completion percentage of 72.2 percent and a 132.6 rating.
He additionally leads the AFC in fourth quarter passing with a 71.4 completion percentage an 11.1 yards per attempt average and a 139.6 rating.
147 | Enjoying South Beach
Josh Allen has had some of his best success against one of the most despised opponents for Bills fans. Sunday's performance was Allen's highest single-game passer rating of his career at 147.
Remarkably, four of his five best passer rating games have come against the Dolphins in his brief NFL career.
His top passer rating performances against Miami are listed below.
- 147 – Sept. 20, 2020 at Miami – W – 31-28
- 117.7 – Nov. 17, 2019 at Miami – W – 37-20
- 114.9 – Dec. 30, 2018 vs. Miami – W – 42-17
- 111.4 – Oct. 20, 2019 at Miami – W – 31-21
The only other single-game performance that is superior to three of those outings against the Dolphins was Buffalo's win over Dallas on Thanksgiving last year when Allen posted a 120.7 passer rating.
239 | Diggs delivering
Stefon Diggs after two games in a Bills uniform now leads the AFC and is tied for the league lead in receiving yards with 239. Atlanta's Calvin Ridley also has 239 receiving yards on the season.
Diggs also leads the AFC in receptions with 16, splitting those evenly over the first two games with eight in each contest, which also ranks third in the league.
Perhaps more important is Diggs' ability to move the sticks as he is now third in the AFC with 11 of his 16 catches going for first downs.
7.54 | First down prowess
Last week Buffalo ranked first in the league in total first downs with 31 in the win over the Jets. This week they lead the league in yards per play on first down, with a gaudy 7.54 yards on the first play of each series so far this season.
The stat carries even more weight when you consider the Bills have now run 68 first down plays this season. Only two other NFL teams, Dallas (72) and Arizona (69) have run more first down plays than Buffalo this season. They rank seventh and 18th in yards per play on first down.
Something to consider this week, the L.A. Rams rank third in the NFL in yards per play on first down with an average of 7.12 yards per play, and they've been that productive with a similar play count as the Bills (65).
For perspective, the NFL average gain per first down play thus far this season is 5.86 yards.
10 | No return
The Bills kept Tyler Bass as their kicker for the 2020 season, not only because he matched Stephen Hauschka kick for kick on field goal attempts in training camp, but also because his strong leg was bound to improve their touchback percentage on kickoffs this season.
Through two weeks, Bass has 10 touchbacks on 12 attempts including all six of his kickoffs on Sunday in the win at Miami.
Bass' 10 touchbacks ranks second in the AFC and third in the NFL.
Even more significant is his touchback percentage of 83.3 percent (10 for 12). That ranks 10th in the league right now, but almost every kicker ahead of him in the touchback percentage rankings have had fewer kickoffs than him.
Taking into account that the touchback percentage figures usually drop as the weather gets colder later in the season, Buffalo ranked 16th in touchback percentage last year (58.3%).
75.5 | Slowing the roll
Very quietly Buffalo's run defense has been productive through the first two weeks. The Bills run defense currently ranks third in the league, surrendering just a shade over 75 yards on the ground per game.
Part of that figure comes from the Bills ability to get ahead on the scoreboard in each of their first two games, forcing their opponents to lean on the pass a bit more.
That being said, Buffalo's run defense has held each of their first two opponents under 100 yards rushing, with the Jets managing just 52 yards on the ground in Week 1 and the Dolphins with 99 last Sunday.