1 - Fixing run game ‘a huge priority’ for OC Brian Daboll
The lack of production from its backfield has been an ever-present issue for Buffalo in the 2018 season.
The Bills, who have finished with the league’s top-ranked rushing attack in two out of the past three seasons, have totaled just 1,818 rushing yards through 15 games this year. Though he’s missed a couple of games with various injuries, LeSean McCoy has rushed for just 488 yards on 151 attempts. Chris Ivory, an offseason acquisition who was meant to serve as a powerful complement to McCoy, has picked up just 350 yards on 101 carries.
Rookie quarterback Josh Allen, who has rushed for 536 yards thus far, has been responsible for nearly 30 percent of Buffalo’s net rushing total.
Sparking the stagnant ground game will be a major point of emphasis for the Bills in the offseason, according to offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
“It’s a huge priority,” Daboll said. “Hasn’t been where we’ve needed it to be. Again, that starts with me.”
The backfield’s lack of success does not come from a lack of talent or effort, according to Daboll. Instead, the struggles can be attributed to a number of factors.
“To get the run game going, it’s a lot more than just the running back,” Daboll said. "I have a lot of confidence in LeSean.”
2 - How Star Lotulelei has helped young LBs
Though his production hasn’t been staggering, Star Lotulelei has done everything asked of him in his debut season as a Bill.
The veteran defensive tackle, who inked a five-year, $50 million deal with the team in the offseason, has recorded 17 tackles through 15 games. Though his numbers haven’t been particularly impressive, Lotulelei’s true impact is found off the stat sheet, according to defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.
“He’s done a terrific job for us,” Frazier said. “I’m glad that we were able to get him signed in the offseason. Just his demeanor, his approach to the game, his professionalism has really been a plus for us. He’s helped us both in the locker room and on the field, as well. Really pleased with where he is. Looking forward for him continuing to be a part of what we’re building.”
A 6-foot-2, 315-pound tackle, Lotulelei demands attention from opposing offensive linemen. Throughout the 2018 season, Lotulelei has eaten blocks from opposing centers and guards, something that has allowed players like Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano to run and hit and make plays in the offensive backfield.
“Sometimes when you’re the nose tackle, you may not have the numbers that our defensive ends or even our three-technique might have,” Frazier said. “He does a great job of helping Tremaine [Edmunds] develop as a linebacker, same with Matt Milano, because he demands a double team, which allows our linebackers to run free and make some of the tackles that people might think the nose tackle should be making.
“That has been a plus for us, to help our linebackers to improve, but also to help our run defense. He’s done a good job of commanding attention from their interior, their centers and their guards. It’s hard to block him one on one. That’s what we needed, and he’s given us that.”
3 - How you can win big at Kyle’s final game
If you’re heading out to watch Kyle Williams take to the New Era Field turf for the final time this Sunday, you’re in luck, because you’re going to get a great deal on 50-50 raffle tickets.
In celebration of Williams’ historic 13-year career, the Bills are offering special pricing on 50-50 raffle tickets. You can purchase 95 tickets for just $20 at any kiosk around the stadium. You can also purchase tickets from mobile sellers.
If great deals aren’t your thing, you can still purchase tickets in lower quantities. Other offers include three tickets for $5 and 10 tickets for $10.
A Buffalo stalwart, Williams has ingrained himself in the Western New York community over the past 13 years, consistently giving back to an area that has truly become his home. Perhaps your experience at Williams’ final game will be made a bit more memorable with a massive 50-50 raffle win.