1 - Tre’Davious White a top 5 CB in this stat
After a stellar 2017 campaign in which he was snubbed of a Pro Bowl appearance and Rookie of the Year consideration, Buffalo cornerback Tre’Davious White was eager to prove that his debut season was no fluke.
He did so with a 2018 campaign in which he continued to play at an elite level.
White finished his sophomore season with 54 tackles, eight pass deflections, and two interceptions. He and the rest of Buffalo’s secondary continuously shut down the oppositions’ aerial attack, as the Bills finished the season with the league’s top-ranked passing defense. Buffalo allowed an average of just 179.2 passing yards per game.
The success of Buffalo’s secondary can be largely attributed to White’s lockdown-caliber play. According to Pro Football Focus, White allowed just 0.68 yards per coverage snap this season, the fourth-lowest rate amongst all eligible cornerbacks.
Only Avonte Maddox, Patrick Peterson, and Coty Sensabaugh finished the season with a lower yards-per-coverage snap rate.
The role that White played in throughout the 2018 season is perhaps what makes his success so impressive. The 23-year-old was consistently tasked with matching up against the opposition’s top wideout, and for the most part, he was effectively able to neutralize them. Stefon Diggs, T.Y. Hilton, and Corey Davis all struggled to find success when matched up against White this season.
2 - This former Bills QB is now a National Champion
Few football coaches, professional or collegiate, are more decorated than Nick Saban.
He’s won six National Championships throughout his coaching career. He’s earned AP College Football Coach of the Year honors twice. The Alabama Crimson Tide have been dominant under his guidance, as they’ve won the National Championship in four out the last eight years.
There is one person, however, who seemingly has Saban’s number, who has been on the winning end of Saban’s most-recent blowout losses.
Who is this football mastermind who has consistently been able to outsmart Saban, you ask?
It’s former Buffalo quarterback J.P. Losman.
Losman has played a role in each of the past two games that Saban has lost by 14 or more points, the most recent of which being the 2018 National Championship. Now an intern on Clemson’s coaching staff, Losman helped the Tigers upset the Crimson Tide in a dominant 44-16 victory.
Before his most recent loss, the last time that Saban lost a game by more than two scores was on Dec. 17, 2006, when his Dolphins lost to the Losman-led Bills by a score of 21-0. Losman completed 13 passes for 200 yards and three touchdowns in that game.
“I thought it was an interesting stat,” Losman said during a recent appearance on One Bills Live. “That was definitely more good news piled on after you win the National Championship. I come off the field, everybody’s telling me all these stats. I’m like ‘Just pile it on, it feels so good right now.’ It was so much fun . . . It was definitely a fun stat, fun to see somebody dig it up.”
Losman, who spent five seasons with the Bills in the mid-2000s, has spent the last two years as a coaching intern at Clemson. He’s caught the coaching-bug since getting into the field, and he would like to continue down the path toward becoming a full-time coach. Where that will be has yet to be determined.
“I have no idea what’s about to happen,” Losman said. “I don’t even think it’s sunk in yet that we won the National Championship. I’ll definitely tell you that some doors have started to open. I don’t know what that means, it’s just all a bunch of talk right now. I don’t know what’s going to happen. All I know is that I’m having a great time right now.”
3 - This figure solidifies Foster as an emerging deep threat
The final seven games of the 2018 season saw rookie wideout Robert Foster emerge as a reliable deep threat, a receiver that Buffalo often looked to stretch the field with.
After reeling in just two passes for 30 yards throughout his first six appearances, Foster caught 25 passes for 511 yards in the second half of the year, good for an average reception of 20.44 yards.
Though Foster did show promise in the short-to-intermediate passing game, the Bills largely used the rookie on streaks and other deep routes, as evidenced by a recent Pro Football Focus stat. According to the outlet, Foster’s average depth-of-target was 21.0 yards.
This means that, on average, Foster was more than 20 yards down the field when the ball was thrown to him. No wide receiver finished the season with a larger depth-of-target average than Foster.
This stat indicates that quarterback Josh Allen often looked to Foster when trying to go deep, something that usually resulted in success. Of the 23 passes that Allen completed to Foster, seven went for 20 or more yards. The rookies connected for three scores throughout the season.
Foster finished the 2018 campaign with an overall PFF grade of 72.31, the 39th highest amongst all wideouts.