18 – Bills head coach Sean McDermott has said for two weeks that the team has to score more points if they want to win more games. He and his coaching staff undoubtedly have a discerning focus on the offense's performance in the third quarter.
That's because it has been their least successful scoring quarter all season long. The Bills have put up just 18 points in the third quarter this season, which ranks 30th in the NFL ahead of only Cincinnati (13) and Miami (3).
In five of their eight games Buffalo has gone scoreless in the third quarter.
Five times the Bills have trailed at the half this season. Not once have they erased the deficit on the scoreboard in the third quarter in those situations.
Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is all too aware of the struggles the offense has had coming out of the locker room after halftime.
"We're working on that," Daboll said. "Consistency is a big thing. It comes down to giving the guys good calls, executing the calls. Usually it's situational awareness, execution, fundamentals, techniques, proper calls. We'll keep at it."
On 22 total possessions in the third quarter this season, the Bills have two touchdowns and one field goal. The other two points came on a safety by the defense (Week 10 at Cleveland). An extra point was blocked versus Philadelphia.
Those 22 total possessions have averaged five plays per drive and 3.9 yards per play, more than a yard less than their season average (5.3).
"We've just got to finish drives. It's that simple," said Jon Feliciano after last Sunday's game. "They asked me if our offense was capable of scoring 30. Sixteen points is not going to do it. We had two drives where we could've finished with touchdowns and that would've been 30."
The Bills have had nine total three-and-outs on those 22 third-quarter possessions for a percentage of 41 percent, about double the team's three-and-out season average of 21 percent (20.8%).
"You always want to finish with touchdowns, that's the goal of every offense," Daboll said. "So, we had some objectives that we really focused on during the bye week. One was to try to score points in the beginning of the first half and the beginning of the second half."
Unfortunately, those two quarters still lag behind the point production they've had in the second and fourth quarters this season.
36.3% - Buffalo currently ranks 21st in third down conversion percentage. The sticking point for the offense in converting third downs has come on third and medium. Typically seen as plays ranging from 3rd-and-4 to 3rd-and-6, the Bills have converted only 36.3 percent of their opportunities in those situations this season (10-28).
While this also ranks 21st in the NFL, it isn't much better than the team's success rate in converting third and longs this season (31%).
Opposing defenses have blitzed Josh Allen a great deal on 3rd-and-medium, including the Browns this past week in an effort to accelerate Allen's decision making post snap. They copied what the Patriots did with great success in Week 4, but did not force the turnovers that New England did in their game. However, they did get enough incompletions to stall Buffalo drives and ultimately win the game.
"Overall we've had too many opportunities that we haven't capitalized on," said head coach Sean McDermott coming off the loss to the Browns. "We've had some third and manageables throughout the game and we didn't come away with either a first down or points."
Other numbers to note
16.3 – The number of first downs per game given up by Buffalo's defense. It's good for fifth fewest per game in the NFL.
29.4 – The Bills have moved up to second in the league in kick return average as Andre Roberts is providing almost 30 yards per return, although Micah Hyde helped with his onsides kick return for a touchdown against Miami.
18 – Total number of pass completions allowed by the Bills defense of more than 20 yards. It's the third-fewest in the NFL this season.
55% – Though Josh Allen's season completion percentage is 59.9 percent, Buffalo's success has not been good when that percentage dips below 55 percent in a game. This past Sunday Allen's completion percentage was 53.7 percent. The only other times when the quarterback's completion percentage was under 55 percent was in Week 4 against New England, and Week 8 vs. Philadelphia. All three of those games were losses for the Bills.
21 – Number of consecutive games in which the defense has allowed fewer than 400 total net yards. It's the longest active streak in the league.
72.8% - Odds for a team that starts the season 6-3 to make the playoffs.