Inside The Bills

Miami ‘D’ makes for healthy 3rd down day

Posted by Chris Brown on November 9, 2015 – 9:25 am

The Bills offense has been anything but a juggernaut when it’s come to third down conversions this season. They ranked a pedestrian 27th in third down conversion percentage going into Sunday’s game against Miami. The Dolphins third down defense ranked a respectable 14th in the NFL heading into the matchup with Buffalo, but the Bills made them look far worse in their 33-17 victory.

Buffalo had their best third down conversion day of the season moving the chains on eight of their 13 third down situations for a 62 percent success rate. A persistent problem for the Bills on third down is they’ve been putting themselves in third and long too often. Going into Sunday’s game 45 percent of their third down situations were 3rd-and-8 or more.

On Sunday just five of their 13 third downs were 3rd-and-8 or more. What’s more is they converted three of their five third and longs, with two of them going for touchdowns. On 3rd-and-14 Tyrod Taylor hit Sammy Watkins for a 44-yard touchdown and late in the game in 3rd-and-12 Karlos Williams rumbled for a 38-yard score. Of their eight third down situations that were 3rd-and-7 or less, they converted five of them for a 62.5 percent success rate.

Their overall success rate on third down Sunday of 62 percent bested their previous high of 54 percent, which happened back in Week 3 against the same Miami team.

In fact outside of the two games against Miami, the Bills have not had a conversion rate of better than 38 percent in any other game this season. So against the Dolphins the offense is a combined 15-28 on third down conversions (54%). Against the rest of their opponents this season they’re a combined 24-79 on third down conversions (30.3%).

This week Buffalo faces the Jets, who have a third down defense ranked 13th in the NFL allowing a conversion rate of just 37 percent this season.

Here’s a look at the Bills week by week third down success rate.

Week 1 – Colts – 5-for-13 – 38.5%
Week 2 – Patriots – 4-for-13 – 31%
Week 3 – Dolphins – 7-for-13 – 54%
Week 4 – Giants – 3-for-16 – 19%
Week 5 – Titans – 4-for-12 – 33.3%
Week 6 – Bengals – 5-for-13 – 38.5%
Week 7 – Jaguars – 3-for-12 – 25%
Week 9 – Dolphins – 8-for-13 – 62%


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