1 - Taylor taking more shots down field
In Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons the Buffalo Bills offense did some things that were uncharacteristic. Tyrod Taylor threw the ball down field. He did it often, 45 percent of his throws to be exact.
According to NFL.com's NextGen Stats, nine of his 20 attempts traveled 20 yards or more.
That week Taylor saw on film the opportunity to spread the field vertically.!(http://bufbills.co/COVsQ1)
"We thought last week we could push the ball down field a little more, on some of the things they showed on film throughout the week," he said. "Wasn't able to connect on as many of them as we wanted to. That's definitely something to show other teams that were still trying to push the ball down the field."
The long-range throws increased immensely in Week Four opposed to the prior three weeks. The numbers are eye-popping.
In Week One, Two, and Three combined Taylor only had eight throws travel 20 yards or more. In Week Four alone he topped that with nine. Also in the first three weeks he only completed three of those throws down field. Taylor had three completions against the Falcons that were thrown over 20 yards.
The team's signal caller is showing confidence stretching the field.
"We definitely have speed outside… taking shots is part of our offense. We just have to continue building and growing with that," Taylor said.
The Bengals passing defense ranks third in the NFL, allowing 165 yards per game. Will Taylor keep slinging the ball down field against one of the league's top defenses?
2 - Offensive line giving quarterback time to work
The Bills are the third-most efficient pass blocking team in the AFC. The unit compiled of seasoned veterans and a rookie has gotten the job done for Tyrod Taylor so far.
"Buffalo's offensive line has allowed six sacks this season, but just 25 total pressures despite QB Tyrod Taylor holding the ball longer on average than any other passer in the game. The Bills' blockers have to protect for an average of 3.14 seconds per drop back, a full second longer every passing play than Oakland's unit," Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus said.
In the first four weeks Buffalo's offense has gotten off to slow starts in games. In fact, they're yet to tally a single point in the first quarter. They've turned it up when it counts though.
Head coach, Sean McDermott, is happy with his lines fourth quarter efforts that have led them to 3-1.
"I think they've risen to the challenge in those situations. You go back and you look at the fourth quarter of the Jets game, fourth quarter of the Denver game, fourth quarter of the Atlanta game, and the 19-play drive," McDermott said. "That's who we can be and that's a mindset, that's an identity, and that's the attitude we need and we're looking for."
Check out practice photos of the Bills, as they get ready to take on the Bengals.
3 - McDermott: WR corps not limited by Matthews injury
The Bills remained relatively injury free until the Atlanta Falcons game. A number of players endured injuries on Sunday. One of the most striking was to wide receiver Jordan Matthews.
Buffalo will have a big hole to fill. He leads all the wide receivers in receptions (10) and receiving yards (162).
Head coach, Sean McDermott, has confidence in the depth they have at that position.
"It is never easy to lose a player, any player, but also a player of that quality and caliber with Jordan Matthews," he said. "We are not limited. We move forward and that is what good teams do. It is a next man up approach and I expect whoever that next man is, in this case at the wide receiver position, to step up and do his job."
"Losing a guy like Jordan definitely hurts our team, but at the same time we have guys in that wide receiver room that are looking forward to the challenge of stepping up and making those plays," said Taylor. "I have 100 percent trust and confidence in those guys to go out there and make plays." Matthews is out indefinitely as he recovers from thumb surgery. To fill his spot the team signed a familiar face in Philly Brown.
"Philly is a guy that played in games. He knows the system. He knows what we are looking for. He knows what it is like to play in big games. For all those reasons, we thought it was the right time," McDermott said.
The Week Five matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals will be a good indication to how the Bills offense responds without Matthews.
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