Inside The Bills

Bills lead NFL in toxic differential

Posted by Chris Brown on October 30, 2014 – 12:40 pm

It’s a compound statistic that former NFL head coach Brian Billick has tracked for years and only recently made popular since he began working for NFL.com. It’s called toxic differential. It’s essentially a combined margin of turnover differential and big play differential (plays of 20 yards or more made or given up). At the midway point of the season the Bills lead the NFL (see table below)

As you can see in the table, Buffalo leads the league in takeaways and is fifth in explosive plays. Their plus-7 turnover differential and plus-13 explosive play differential gives them a toxic differential of plus-20. The San Diego Chargers are the only team within striking distance at this point of the Bills at plus-17.

It has Billick convinced that the Bills could be for real if they can maintain the differentials they’re enjoying in both areas of their game. Here’s what he wrote about Buffalo.

Buffalo, San Diego, San Francisco, Houston and Denver are the only teams in the NFL that rank in the top 10 in both turnover differential and explosive differential. We knew the Chargers, 49ers and Broncos were good, but this shows that the Bills and Texans are teams to watch in the second half, as well.

At a glance, you can see how teams have worked to address limitations from last season. In 2013, Buffalo was a bottom-10 team in explosive offensive plays. This year, with the solid quarterback play of Kyle Orton and the early maturation of Sammy Watkins, the Bills rank fifth overall in that category.


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Big play Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on February 15, 2012 – 11:21 am

With the new statistical measure ‘toxic differential’ gaining popularity in determining an NFL team’s success, we thought we’d take a closer look as to just what players were providing the big plays for the Bills this past season.

There are some obvious candidates, but here are the players that turned in all of the 20-plus yard plays in the run and pass game for Buffalo in 2011.

Players with plays of 20 yards or more in 2011
1 . Fred Jackson (18)
2. Stevie Johnson (13)
3. David Nelson (7)
4. Naaman Roosevelt (7)
5. C.J. Spiller (6)
6. Scott Chandler (4)
7. Brad Smith (3)
8. Donald Jones (2)
9. Derek Hagan (2)
10. Kevin Brock (1)
11. Ruvell Martin (1)

It’s not surprising that Jackson had the most 20-plus yard plays on the season. Even though he only appeared in 11 games in 2011 he still seemed to have at least one big play every time out. Perhaps the most impressive though is Naaman Roosevelt, who probably had significantly fewer snaps than Scott Chandler, David Nelson and C.J. Spiller. Yet Roosevelt was tied for third most plays of 20+ yards.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

NFL toxic differential rankings

Posted by Chris Brown on February 15, 2012 – 10:59 am

As we profiled on the home page of Buffalobills.com Wednesday, toxic differential (measure of turnover differential + explosive play differential) is becoming and more and more respected statistic for team success. Here’s the league rankings of toxic differential for 2011 as compiled by Buffalobills.com courtesy of stats from Stats Inc.

The 20+ categories represent explosive plays by a team’s own offense and by a team’s opponent. The differential between those two figures is reflected in the Exp. Diff. column followed by the Turnover Differential column (Turn. Diff.). The sum of those two columns is then represented in the far right column as Toxic Differential

NFL TOXIC DIFFERENTIAL RANKINGS 2011

Tm Rank Team 20+ own 20+ opp. Exp diff. Turn diff. Toxic diff.
1 San Fran 57 52 +5 +28 +33
2 Carolina 90 67 +23 +1 +24
T3 Detroit 73 62 +11 +11 +22
T3 Green Bay 78 80 -2 +24 +22
5 Houston 68 55 +13 +7 +20
6 N.O. 83 63 +20 -3 +17
7 Seattle 59 51 +8 +8 +16
T8 Atlanta 67 62 +5 +8 +13
T8 Pitt. 69 43 +26 -13 +13
T10 Dallas 69 64 +5 +4 +9
T10 Balt. 57 50 +7 +2 +9
T12 NY Giants 71 71 0 +7 +7
T12 San Diego 82 68 +14 -7 +7
14 Phil. 84 64 +20 -14 +6
15 N.E. 77 89 -12 +17 +5
16 Chicago 61 59 +2 +2 +4
T17 Buffalo 65 66 -1 +1 0
T17 Cincy 57 57 0 0 0
19 Oakland 84 82 +2 -4 -2
20 Tenn. 65 69 -4 1+ -3
21 Jax. 40 51 -11 5+ -6
22 Miami 67 68 -1 -6 -7
23 Minn. 60 65 -5 -3 -8
24 NY Jets 48 54 -6 -3 -9
25 K.C. 52 65 -13 -2 -15
26 Denver 56 60 -4 -12 -16
T27 Wash. 67 72 -5 -14 -19
T27 Clev. 39 59 -20 +1 -19
29 Arizona 62 69 -7 -13 -20
30 St. Louis 44 63 -19 -5 -24
31 Indy 39 56 -17 -12 -29
32 T.B. 44 78 -34 -5 -39

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