49.6% = Bills 1st down rushing efficiency rate (tied for 3rd in the NFL)
The Bills offense got a shot in the arm when it came to first down this past Sunday. The production of the run game on first down went a long way in keeping Brian Daboll’s unit in manageable down and distance.
“Being on schedule and having first down success is important,” said head coach Sean McDermott. “I’m sure Brian (Daboll) would tell you it certainly makes life as an offensive play caller a lot easier when you can establish the line of scrimmage whether it be run or pass and we were able to do that well at times on Sunday.”
Buffalo gained 52 yards on their first eight first down carries in their win over Washington to average 6.5 yards per carry. The Bills are now tied for third in the league in first down rushing efficiency at 49.6 percent. The metric measures how often an offense rushes for four yards or more on first down.
“We decided to run the ball a little bit more this game," said Daboll. "You go into the week and you have a plan and that plan kind of adjusts as you go. Sometimes weather plays into that as well. I thought the line did a good job of moving the line of scrimmage. The receivers did a good job in the run game and the backs found the lanes.”
Instrumental in that rushing effort was rookie Devin Singletary who had 95 yards on 20 carries to average 4.8 yards per rush.
“He’s super shifty, man,” said Cole Beasley of Singletary. “When someone meets him in the hole, they better come to balance, because he’s got some hips and some wiggle, and he makes guys look silly out there.”
The team’s success rushing on first down has helped to lift Buffalo’s overall first down efficiency to eighth in the league. The Bills are now getting four yards or more on first down more than half the time (51%).
“Anytime you can stay on track and skip third downs or get into some manageable third downs that’s always helpful,” said Daboll.
Scroll through to view photos of every player currently on the Bills 53-man roster along with updates on their play to this point through 8 games.
1 OF 4 NFL QUARTERBACKS IN LEAGUE HISTORY TO ACHIEVE THIS FEAT
By now the entire league is aware of Josh Allen’s dual threat ability as a passer and a runner. That was on display again against Washington where he threw a touchdown pass to Cole Beasley and rushed for a touchdown on a fourth down sneak.
It helped Allen post a 110.4 passer rating in the victory over the Redskins, which is second only this season to his 111-passer rating in Week 7 against Miami.
His passing and rushing touchdowns made him just the fourth quarterback to record at least 20 passing touchdowns and 12 rushing touchdowns in his first two seasons in league history, joining Steve Grogan, Cam Newton and Dak Prescott.
“At the end of the day he’s asked to win games,” said McDermott. “That’s what we’re going to try to do is win games, develop the right game plan in order to do that. That’s going to vary from week to week. The number of times he throws. The number of times we run, so we’re going to try to put our players, Josh in this case, in a position of strength. Over the last four games he’s had seven touchdowns passing, one running so there is some good there and some things he has to work on.”
Other numbers to know ...
18% - Washington’s third-down conversion percentage Sunday after converting just two of their 11 third down opportunities against the Bills.
30% - Buffalo’s league-leading three-and-out percentage on defense, which was enhanced by their aforementioned third down success in the note above.
46.6% - The Bills defense ranks fifth in the NFL in holding opponents to less than four yards per play on first down, doing it close to half the time.
9 - The number of 10-play drives allowed by Buffalo’s defense this season out of 90 total opponent possessions, which ranks second only to New England. And of those nine 10-play drives allowed, Buffalo’s opponents have only scored four touchdowns, which also ranks second in the league.
80.8% - Odds of making the playoffs with a 6-2 start.