Inside The Bills

3rd down & red zone will be focus areas

Posted by Chris Brown on February 15, 2016 – 10:08 am

For Buffalo’s offense there was a lot that went right in 2015, but it won’t have the offensive staff or the players resting on any laurels. They know full well where their deficiencies lie. Third down conversion percentage (38% – rank 21st) and red zone touchdown percentage (50% – rank 24th) are two areas in particular that will get a lot of attention come the spring OTAs.

“Again I don’t know I really had to review very much to understand (third down and red zone) were week to week issues that we were working through as the season progressed,” said offensive coordinator Greg Roman. “We communicated about it so I definitely think we have a firm grasp of that as something that needs to be better.”

Third and medium proved particularly difficult for the Bills offense to convert. On 3rd-and-4 Buffalo averaged just 1.64 yards on 11 pass plays. On 3rd-and-5 they averaged 1.57 yards on 14 plays and on 3rd-and-6 the Bills averaged five yards on 10 plays. Not surprisingly, their conversion rates on those down and distances were 36.3, 35.7 and 40 percent respectively.

The Bills were also ranked 23rd in yards per play in the red zone averaging 2.71 yards per snap.

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Spiller: Offense must improve in same areas

Posted by Chris Brown on August 8, 2014 – 9:12 am

There have been a couple of persistent problems when it comes to Buffalo’s offensive execution the last few years. Third down conversions and red zone scoring efficiency. Last season the Bills finished 29th in both categories. C.J. Spiller said the two areas have been a primary focus this offseason.

“We know where we want to go as an offense, we know the things we want to get better at,” Spiller said. “It’s just things that hurt us last year that we’re trying to work on like third down, the red zone and two minutes. There’s different situations we’re trying to get better at as an offense and we understand that.”

On Friday night the Bills will be facing a Carolina defense that ranked 12th in third down defense and third in the NFL in red zone defense allowing opponents to reach the end zone just over 41 percent of the time (41.5%).

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Reps and more reps in red zone

Posted by Chris Brown on August 7, 2014 – 8:56 am

The Bills offense ranked 29th in the league in red zone touchdown efficiency in 2013. To no one’s surprise it’s been a major focus in training camp this summer. In fact the team ends practice every day with a 7-on-7 red zone period. EJ Manuel believes the extra work will pay dividends.

At the same time he knows what’s most important down inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.

“Extreme communication. That’s big,” he said. “You have to be on the same page down there because it happens really fast. That’s why I’m very happy that we’ve been doing it at the end of every practice. Whether we’re getting it done or there are some things we need to work on the more reps we get in the red zone the better. It just happens so fast down there. You can’t be late. The receiver can’t wait getting off the ball and the line may have to protect a little longer if they can. If we can be good in the red zone it’ll give us a lot more points during the season.”

Buffalo was 22nd in the league in points per game.

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The fixes: turnovers, red zone offense

Posted by Chris Brown on November 6, 2013 – 6:17 pm

The Bills have dropped their last two games and there were two areas of their game that stood out in both losses to New Orleans and Kansas City. Head coach Doug Marrone addressed it with his team Wednesday.

“I spoke to the team about what we’re doing well and know we can improve on, but here are the two areas that are really getting us right now,” Marrone said. “One of them is obviously the turnovers. We’re minus-six in the last two games. So we’ve lost the turnover battle minus-three in the last two games, which we haven’t won a game here when you’re minus-three. Not many teams do.

“We also were getting about two takeaways per game from the defensive side and we weren’t able to get any takeaways in our  last two games. In the red zone offensively, our red zone touchdown we’re 31st in the league at 42 percent. So for us we’re going to have to make some changes and do some different things in the red zone because we have to be more successful. But there’s other things that we just need to keep doing the same and do them better and do them well.”

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