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Inside The Bills

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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Bills turnovers too often in their territory

Posted by Chris Brown on October 28, 2013 – 1:56 pm

Buffalo on the whole had been doing well in the takeaway-giveaway margin on the season. They entered last Sunday’s game at a plus-5. Now they stand at a plus-2 on the year after their three giveaways against the Saints. While no giveaway comes at a good time, the Bills have developed a bad habit of coughing up the ball on their own side of the field.

The Bills have 13 giveaways on the season. All but one of them have come on their own half of the field. More than half of them (7) have come at or inside their own 25-yard line. There were two such occurrences yesterday in the first quarter.

“That was bad,” said Eric Wood. “We just made too many mistakes offensively early on.  We really put our defense in some tough spots. They rose to the occasion early, but eventually we put them in enough bad spots so that we had to make some plays.”

Buffalo’s defense has done remarkably well in defending those short fields off turnovers inside their own 25. On those seven occasions, counting yesterday, the Bills defense has given up just two touchdowns and two field goals. The other three resulted in two missed field goals and an interception.

The first turnover that took place on the opponent’s half of the field was Lewis’ interception at the Saints 37-yard line.

 

 


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Bills on right side of turnovers but…

Posted by Chris Brown on September 24, 2013 – 10:38 am

Through the first three games this season Buffalo has forced takeaways each week, including a pair of interceptions this past Sunday. After three weeks the Bills are a plus-2. Only 12 other teams in the NFL are currently a plus-2 or better in takeaway-giveaway with Buffalo. Head coach Doug Marrone said there is one small difference between what Buffalo’s plus-2 has gotten the Bills and what the plus-2 or better for everyone else has done for them.

“When you look around the league, basically 12 other teams are plus-2,” said Marrone. “The other 12 teams are a combined 28-4.  So they have an 88-percent chance of winning the game.  Don’t get me wrong, we have put the ball on the ground, we still have to work on our ball security. We’ve been fortunate to get it back, but here we are sitting at plus-2, and we’re 1-2.

“We all know that these past games could have gone either way, 0-3, 3-0, 2-1, but we are what we are, and we’re 1-2.
And that’s why I go back to the third downs, and the red zones being the things that we need to make sure we do a better job of. As long as everything else with the turnovers are going, we’ll have a chance to turn this thing around, and turn these close games into wins. Like I said before, I give the players a lot of credit for getting back to 20-20 in the game last
(Sunday). We fell short at the end.

“We have to be smarter in what we do, and do a better job, including myself, right from me all the way down, to get us over that hump.”

Buffalo is the only team that is plus-2 or better in takeaway-giveaway with a record under .500.

Here are the other teams that are plus-2 or better along with their won-loss records. (Note: this stat was compiled prior to Denver’s Monday night game).

Kansas City (+9) 3-0
Chicago (+6) 3-0
Seattle (+6) 3-0
Tennessee (+5) 2-1
Indianapolis (+4) 2-1
Denver (+3) 2-0
New England (+3) 3-0
Dallas (+3) 2-1
Detroit (+3) 2-1
Buffalo (+2) 1-2
Miami (+2) 3-0
New Orleans (+2) 3-0


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Turnovers have told tale vs. Jets

Posted by Chris Brown on September 22, 2013 – 2:08 pm

The Bills have not been as careful with the football as head coach Doug Marrone would prefer through the first two games this season. Their four giveaways are tied for second-most in the AFC, and all four of them have come on Buffalo’s own half of the field this season. That can’t happen against the Jets today.

In the last eight meetings the Bills have coughed up the football 20 times, 11 via interception and nine by fumble. Twelve of those 20 against the Jets have come in their last four away games. Games in which they’ve posted a 1-3 record. The only reason they won the first in that string of four away games? Mark Sanchez threw five interceptions.

Over that same span the Jets have been slightly better with 14 turnovers in the last eight meetings. Eleven by interception and three by fumble.


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Ball security a thorn for Bills vs. Pats

Posted by Chris Brown on September 7, 2013 – 8:36 am

Coaches talk all the time about how turnovers affect the outcome of games. Knowing how the Bills-Patriots series has gone over the last several years, the turnover table accurately follows what coaches preach about protecting the football.

In the last six meetings the Bills have committed an astounding 24 turnovers, with nine in their two meetings in 2010, six in their two games in 2011 and another nine in the pair with New England last season. Over that same span the Patriots have just one-third that amount (8).

As much publicity as the Patriots offense gets for rolling up points and their defense gets for stopping the run, it’s New England’s ball security that has been a relative constant for them as well.

The Patriots have led the AFC in turnover ratio and total takeaways in each of the last three seasons. Here are their figures.

2010 – 41 takeaways – +25 turnover ratio
2011 – 34 takeaways – +17 turnover ratio
2012 – 38 takeaways – +28 turnover ratio


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Turnovers sealed Bills division fate

Posted by Chris Brown on January 12, 2009 – 7:13 pm

By now everyone is well aware that turnovers played a big part in the Bills slide down the stretch in 2008, which ultimately kept them from contending for that ever elusive AFC playoff berth. But some turnovers prove more costly than others, and unfortunately for Buffalo the most damaging ones came in their division games.

The Bills had more than half of their turnovers for the season against their AFC East opponents. Sure Buffalo faces each of those teams twice, but to commit 16 of your 30 turnovers in six of your 16 games is unusual.

It began in Miami in Week 7 where the Bills surrendered a nine-point second half lead (16-7) by committing four turnovers in the fourth quarter. That was followed by three giveaways against the Jets that led to 10 New York points in what wound up being a nine-point victory for ‘Gang Green.’

“Seven in two games,” said offensive coordinator Turk Schonert after the Jets loss. “You are not going to win against good teams especially in your division. We had turnovers two times in a scoring area. If we just kick those two field goals, that is six points and they don’t get seven. Do the math because we win. It is not hard.”

But the Bills continued to make it hard for themselves against their division foes as they committed two more turnovers at New England in a 20-10 defeat the following week. Suddenly Buffalo was 0-3 in the division and a minus-10 in the turnover category in their four losses.

The second run through the division wasn’t much better. Buffalo committed seven more turnovers, with the underthrown fade pass against Miami and fumble on a rollout late against the Jets the most crippling.

All told Buffalo finished a minus-11 in the turnover category against their division opponents with 16 giveaways and just five takeaways. It was a sharp contrast from the year before when the Bills were a plus-4 in their six division games with 11 takeaways and seven giveaways.

“We really didn’t give ourselves a chance with the turnovers and that’s really all you can say about it,” said Lee Evans. “We didn’t give ourselves a chance turning the ball over. Coach Jauron talks about it all the time. You give yourself a chance when you protect the football. And if you don’t it’s hard to win in this league.”

Even though Buffalo’s defense couldn’t do much to even the turnover battle with takeaways of their own, they did a solid job of keeping points off turnovers to a minimum. Despite being a minus-11 against their AFC East rivals Buffalo was only outscored 33-20 off turnovers in their six division games.

“The defense did a great job holding them after turnovers,” said Evans. “So we had opportunities, but we were never able to get the momentum back.”

More than anything the turnovers took the ball out of Buffalo’s hands and allowed their AFC East rivals to play keep away. And in most of the Bills’ division games it was enough to keep victory out of reach as well.


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Can’t win if you can’t hold onto ball

Posted by Chris Brown on October 26, 2008 – 7:29 pm

Trent’s INT was a bad break, being hit as he threw. Got to credit Miami for slapping the ball out on Edwards’ sneak to force a fumble. This is the first game where Trent has more than one turnover.


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