Inside The Bills

Play action not used much

Posted by Chris Brown on September 28, 2013 – 7:50 am

ProFootballFocus is crunching the numbers again and they came up with an interesting stat concerning EJ Manuel’s passing efficiency when play action is used.

Play action has not been used very much by Buffalo’s offense. Last week proved difficult because if your run game is not getting much yardage, it’s hard to get a defense to bite hard on play action in an effort to stop the run. Still in all, here’s what PFF found with how the lack of play action is affecting Manuel’s game.

Buffalo Bills: Only 12.6% of E.J. Manuel’s drop-backs have been play action passes which is the second lowest rate in the league. However, when he does use play action passes his yards per attempt is 11.6 — the highest for a QB not named Manning.

Now over three games the sample size is presumably pretty small, but what this stat does is emphasize not the need for the Bills to use play action. Instead it emphasizes the need for the Bills to have a productive rushing attack because if they do it sets up the opportunity to make use of play action more. That in turn should help EJ Manuel’s passing productivity.

Unfortunately in two of Buffalo’s three games this season that hasn’t happened. Opposing defenses have successfully stopped the Bills run game by stacking the box.


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