Inside The Bills

Takeaway issue not a shock

Posted by Chris Brown on October 22, 2010 – 2:00 pm

Through five games played the Bills have the least number of takeaways in the league with just four in five games. But there are a number of reasons why a secondary that was surpremely opportunistic last season has not been thus far this year.

First and foremost opposing offenses have been in favorable down and distance most of the time, due to Buffalo’s leaky run defense. Facing 2nd-and-medium and a lot of 3rd-and-shorts, opponents have not been in obvious passing situations, which would allow the Bills to get aggressive defensively and go after the passer.

As a result, there’s less pressure on opposing quarterbacks, fewer hurried or errant throws and thus fewer opportunities for Buffalo’s defenders on the back end. Head coach Chan Gailey offered his take on it as well.

“I think that a lot of it plays into it,” Gailey said. “Our opponents have had the lead, they haven’t had to throw it. They have not been backed up so to speak.”

Buffalo has had a tough time winning field position or even flipping the field at times, which is something Gailey had his special teams units focus on in the bye week.

“We’ve got to try to back them up and make them go the long, hard way,” said Gailey. “People have not been successful if they’ve had to start inside their own 20-yard line and have to drive the length of the field. So it’s incumbent upon the rest of the team, the coverage teams in the kick game and the offense to be involved in helping the defense out and make opponents go the length of the field.”

Gailey wants the offense to at least gain a field position advantage if they’re unable to score points, and have his special teams limit returns to keep the opposing offense pinned in their own territory.

Buffalo is giving opponents an average drive start of their own 32-yard line. Only Dallas is giving opponents a better starting point to this point in the season (34.5).


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