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Inside The Bills

Analytics site sees signs of Manuel’s improvement

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 7, 2014 – 5:30 pm

Bills Jaguars FootballRookie QB EJ Manuel missed the final two games of the season, but before he did, the analytics experts at Pro Football Focus say he showed signs of improvement.

PFF Analyst Steve Palazzolo appeared on The John Murphy Show Monday night and discussed Manuel’s rookie campaign, among other topics.

The PFF.com numbers put Manuel near the bottom of regular NFL quarterbacks. But Palazzolo says the numbers show the rookie quarterback had three of his four best games near the end of the season (vs Jets, vs. Falcons, and at Jacksonville).

“You want to see instant success but realistically, what you need to see is improvement,” Palazzolo said. “I thought we saw a little bit of improvement from Manuel after a slow start.”

“I think the scouting report on Manuel coming out was that he may need some time to develop,” he told host John Murphy. “I don’t think it’s overly surprising that he graded poorly. But he had some of his better games in three of his last four games, those were his best efforts.”

Palazzolo believes Manuel’s strong finish bodes well for the quarterbacks second year in the league.

“I thought it was an encouraging sign that he did play a little bit better against the Jets the second time around, against Atlanta, and against Jacksonville. There’s definitely a lot of room for improvement. But it’s good to see the arrow pointing up towards the end of the season.”

The entire interview with Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus is available here


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dareus named to PFF All-Pro Team

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 7, 2014 – 3:51 pm

He wasn’t elected to the Pro Bowl, but Bills DT Marcel Dareus has earned praise from the analytics experts at Pro Football Focus. The website has named Dareus the starting nose tackle on its’ 2013 PFF All Pro Team.

The PFF Analysis team uses grades it compiles throughout the season to help select its’ all pro players. The website says the selection of Dareus ahead of Seattle’s Brandon Mebane and the Jets Damon Harrison “featured the most discussion.”

PFF Analyst Steve Palazzolo appeared on The John Murphy Show Monday night to talk about the Dareus selection.

“Dareus got the nod over guys like Brandon Mebane of Seattle and Damon Harrison of the Jets, ultimately, because he just showed a little bit better overall game,” Palazzolo said. “That’s the type of discussion we were having. Mebane and Harrison were outstanding run stoppers, but they didn’t provide as much in the pass rush department as Dareus.”

Palazzolo pointed out that Dareus was one of the top three run stoppers in its’ analysis of the league, and he led all defensive tackles with 45-stops. But it was the Bills former first round draft pick’s work on passing down that tilted the scales towards his selection.

“As a pass rusher, he did more than those other two guys,” Palazzolo told host John Murphy. “He graded at plus 11.2, he had what we counted as nine sacks, four QB hits, 30-hurries. And he played 841 snaps, ninth-most at the position. Mebane and Harrison were more two down guys..they were off the field on passing downs a lot more than Dareus. We gave him the nod, he had a really good season.”

The entire interview with PFF Analyst Steve Palazzolo is available here


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Byrd, McKelvin, Spiller make All-Pro PFF team

Posted by Chris Brown on January 2, 2013 – 4:34 pm

The film reviewers and analytic stat crunchers at Pro Football Focus have put out their 2012 All-Pro team and three Bills make an appearance.

Jairus Byrd earned 1st team free safety honors, while Leodis McKelvin earned a second team nod as a return man and C.J. Spiller earned a second team naming at RB. Here’s what was written about all three Bills players.

Free Safety: Jairus Byrd (BUF)
There isn’t a better deep safety in football than Byrd who picked up five interceptions and only allowed 16 catches all year into his coverage. Byrd has rare range and ability and it’s always on display.

Returner: Second team – Leodis McKelvin (BUF)
While he was just picked over Marcus Thigpen here, before missing time, McKelvin had a very real shot at first team honors.

Running back: Second Team - C.J. Spiller (BUF)
In the end Spiller received the nod over Marshawn Lynch and Alfred Morris with the only negative being in how poorly he was used.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Breakdown of Stevie’s game last week

Posted by Chris Brown on December 19, 2012 – 2:38 pm

The folks at Pro Football Focus made Stevie Johnson the focus of their individual game breakdown series this week after his eight-catch 115-yard performance against Seattle. They do a good job of illustrating Johnson’s freedom in Chan Gailey’s offense to just get to a certain spot on time, while also outlining some of the risks involved as it pertains to the read demands put on Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Though Seahawks CB Richard Sherman is not a household name, he’s widely seen as one of the best young cornerbacks in the league, with some even referring to him as the next Revis. But Johnson treated Sherman, much the way he treats Revis Sunday.

You can also watch a breakdown of Stevie’s game in this week’s episode on Bills All Access with Steve Tasker at 11 am on WKBW TV Channel 7 in Buffalo.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

K. Williams in top 3 among DT pass rushers

Posted by Chris Brown on November 15, 2012 – 2:41 pm

Bills DT Kyle Williams, not surprisingly ranked high when it came to Pro Football Focus’ pass rush productivity for interior defensive linemen.

Pro Football Focus had Williams ranked third in the league behind only Houston’s J.J. Watt and Cincinnati’s Geno Atkins. Here’s the top 10 on PFF’s top 20.

Rank Name Team Pass Rush Snaps Total Pressure PRP
1  Geno Atkins CIN 272 37 10.8
2  J.J. Watt HST 309 37 10
3  Kyle D. Williams BUF 242 27 8.9
4  Mike Martin TEN 164 18 8.5
5  Jason Hatcher DAL 226 24 8.2
6  Henry Melton CHI 258 24 7.7
7  Jay Ratliff DAL 128 13 7.6
7  Kendall Reyes SD 129 13 7.6
9  Jason D. Jones SEA 140 13 7.5
10  Quinton Coples NYJ 168 16 7.4
10  Nick Fairley DET 168 16 7.4

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Posted in Inside the Bills

3 Bills LBs among most efficient tacklers

Posted by Chris Brown on November 15, 2012 – 2:04 pm

The film reviewers and stat crunchers at Pro Football Focus have put together their top 20 most efficient tacklers at linebacker in the NFL. Three Bills linebackers made the list.

Bryan Scott and Kelvin Sheppard were in a tie for 18th, with Nick Barnett right behind at 20th. Here’s the full list.

Rank Name Team Comb. Tackle Efficiency Total Snaps Total Missed Tackles Total Tackles Total Assists
1 DeMeco Ryans PHI 72 560 1 57 14
2 Lawrence Timmons PIT 50 504 1 40 9
3 Ray Lewis BLT 48 421 1 38 9
4 Takeo Spikes SD 43 310 1 28 14
5 Brian Cushing HST 29 230 1 24 4
6 Sean Lee DAL 28 303 2 45 9
7 Jerod Mayo NE 27.7 568 3 69 11
8 D’Qwell Jackson CLV 26 599 2 42 8
9 Vontaze Burfict CIN 25.5 422 2 41 8
10 Karlos Dansby MIA 23 609 3 54 12
11 K.J. Wright SEA 22.3 509 3 55 9
12 Patrick Willis SF 22 503 3 53 10
13 Luke Kuechly CAR 21.3 316 3 44 17
14 Bobby Wagner SEA 20.3 502 4 65 12
15 Bruce Carter DAL 19.7 461 3 54 2
16 D.J. Smith GB 19.5 346 2 31 6
17 Lance Briggs CHI 17.3 536 3 42 7
18 Bryan Scott BUF 16.5 313 2 26 5
18 Kelvin Sheppard BUF 16.5 286 2 24 7
20 Nick Barnett BUF 16.3 546 4 49 12

Tackling efficiency is determined by – (Tackles + assists + missed tackles) / Missed tackles.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Why throwing quick helps Fitz

Posted by Chris Brown on October 10, 2012 – 11:42 am

Chan Gailey’s passing attack is predicated on timing and getting the ball out quick. With the quick thinking Ryan Fitzpatrick this often leads to a high completion percentage. That hasn’t happened collectively over the course of the season, but last week Fitz was 16-26 passing (61.5%), which isn’t great, but an improvement over his season completion percentage to date (58.3%). The stat crunchers and film reviewers at Pro Football Focus revealed an interesting statistic concerning Fitzpatrick and the timing passing game.

PFF found through film review that Fitzpatrick has an Accuracy Percentage of 72.0% when he holds onto the ball for 2.5 seconds or less. When he holds it for 2.6 seconds or more, it drops to 56.7%. The 15.3% difference is the third highest in the league.

PFF did not break down the number of plays in which he holds onto the ball for more or less than 2.5 seconds, and it’s unclear whether or not defenses have been more effective in taking away his first read this season. But the difference is noteworthy and speaks to the importance of the timing of Buffalo’s passing game, knowing his current completion percentage for the season (58.3%) is closer to the latter figure provided by PFF.

Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton is the quickest at getting the ball out of his hand in the league right now per PFF taking an average of 2.3 seconds between his snap and his pass release.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Levitre a top 10 pass block guard

Posted by Chris Brown on July 13, 2012 – 9:33 am

The film reviewers and stat crunchers at Pro Football Focus are at it again this time assessing which NFL guards had the best pass blocking efficiency and Buffalo’s Andy Levitre cracked the top 10.

Levitre was ranked ninth in the league over the past three seasons (2009-2011) with a PBE of 97.4 (the closer to 100 the better). PFF takes total pressures allowed and weighs it against total number of snaps that player spends in pass protection, then with a few other calculations [(.75 x # of sacks and hurries + sacks) /(# of pass blocking snaps) x 100] - 100 = PBE. 

Here’s the top 10.

Rank Player Current Team Pass Protects Total Pressure PBE
1 Brandon Moore NYJ 1585 38 98.17
2 Brian Waters NE 1689 43 98.05
3 Josh Sitton GB 1791 45 98.03
4 Bobbie Williams BLT 1454 36 98.02
5 Steve Hutchinson TEN 1480 38 97.97
6 Carl Nicks TB 1959 53 97.87
7 Rob Sims DET 1945 57 97.74
8 Richie Incognito MIA 1396 43 97.51
9 Andy Levitre BUF 1471 48 97.43

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Levitre called ‘star on the rise’

Posted by Chris Brown on May 21, 2012 – 12:17 pm

Bills guard Andy Levitre got a very glowing write up from the stat crunchers and film reviewers at Pro Football Focus.

Levitre, who graded out extremely well in the eyes of PFF, had a full write up done on him. Here’s some of the better excerpts from the post.

On rushes off left guard in 2011, only one team (Miami) earned a higher Yards Per Carry average than the Bills’ 6.0 on 42 carries off Levitre’s outside shoulder.

On top of those stats to Levitre’s outside, he is also proved essential to the Bills as a blocker in space, showing real quality while pulling. At 305 pounds, Levitre isn’t necessarily the ideal size to be a dominant, road-grading run blocker, but he augments his solid in-line play with some quality efforts on the move; a job that leaves many other offensive linemen looking lost.

In the Bills’ Week 15 loss to the Dolphins, he exhibited this quality by getting the upper hand on Karlos Dansby–one of the league’s better inside linebackers–in space. He got off to a fast start pulling right and neutralizing Dansby as the linebacker attempted to fill the gap off right guard. The block served to spring C.J. Spiller through the line on a 24-yard touchdown. Levitre also pulled off  a pair of cut blocks on Dansby while getting downfield on screen plays, helping to finish first down runs by Spiller and Tashard Choice.

Levitre’s ability in pass protection at both guard and tackle cannot be questioned. Over the last two seasons whether you look at our grades (+15.1) or the stats (35 total pressures allowed), he is amongst the elite pass protectors at guard. Combined with clear improvements in his in-line run blocking, and his consistent quality blocking in space, Levitre is ready to use the 2012 season to break into the NFL’s upper echelon of guards.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fred tops in RB pass blocking

Posted by Chris Brown on April 2, 2012 – 8:30 am

The film reviewers and stat crunchers at Pro Football Focus took on the task of determining the most efficient pass blocking backs in the league from 2011. Buffalo’s Fred Jackson was on the list. Check out where he ranked.

Fred was ranked first in the league in 2011 in pass blocking efficiency. In 83 pass blocking snaps, Jackson did not give up a single sacks, QB hit or hurry giving him a 100 rating. Scroll down to see the pass blocking efficiency list’s top 10 from 2011.


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Posted in Inside the Bills