Inside The Bills

What happened to the takeaways?

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2016 – 10:17 am

Part of what was helping the defense in keeping points off the board during their four-game winning streak were turnovers. Buffalo had a total of 10 during that period. Not surprisingly, on the Bills current three-game losing streak they haven’t had a single takeaway.

Buffalo’s last turnover on defense came in the waning moments of their win at Los Angeles Oct. 9th when Nickell Robey-Coleman made his second interception of the game to seal the win.

If the Bills are unable to post a takeaway today against the Bengals it would match a four game stretch in which they went without a turnover back in 2002.

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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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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Bills ‘D’ seeking takeaways

Posted by Chris Brown on November 14, 2012 – 2:59 pm

Takeaways have been hard to come by for the Bills of late and it’s left little margin for error for Buffalo’s offense. The Bills have not posted a single takeaway since their Week 6 overtime win at Arizona.

Jairus Byrd had a pair of interceptions in that game. Since then Buffalo hasn’t recovered a fumble or posted an interception. That’s a span of three games and it’s required the offense to play near perfect football.

“You need to get some turnovers and if you’re not getting turnovers you need to go six or eight sacks and we’re not getting that number in sacks each week either,” head coach Chan Gailey told “One or the other has to show up. So we’re not getting the turnovers and it makes our offense have to go out and execute and score a lot of points. That’s something you don’t want to have to do if you can get away from it.”

Buffalo is tied for the fourth fewest takeaways in the league right now with a total of 11.

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Why Bills need takeaways

Posted by Chris Brown on November 5, 2011 – 9:44 am

The Bills are tied for the NFL lead in takeaways with 18 through the first eight weeks of the NFL season. And that’s a good thing based on recent history.

In an eye-popping stat first reported by ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini, the Bills have lost their last 15 games in which they have failed to record a takeaway. That’s a stretch that includes Buffalo’s Week 7 loss against the Giants, as well as a loss to the Jets in 2009.

Buffalo’s last victory when they did not post a takeaway came on Nov. 11, 2007 in a 13-10 win over Miami.

Posted in Inside the Bills

‘D’ can’t live on takeaways only

Posted by Chris Brown on October 15, 2011 – 8:27 am

Buffalo’s defense has been remarkably opportunistic with 15 takeaways (special teams has the other) in just 5 games this season. On the flip side they’ve given up 450 yards or more to their opposition each of the past four games. They realize they’ve got to get more third down stops by holding down an opponent’s yardage in addition to just taking the ball away.

“If you rely totally on (takeaways) you’re going to be in trouble before it’s over with because you don’t get them all the time,” Chan Gailey told “So we have to continue to improve our overall defense. We’ve played some pretty explosive offenses though and I think as time goes on our defense will continue to get better. But there’s no rule anywhere that says we can’t set a record for turnovers. We can do that. I hope it keeps going.”

The Giants are another offense that racks up yards and points. They average almost 360 yards a game and are second in the league (behind the Bills) in red zone touchdown percentage scoring touchdowns 71.4% of the time.

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The key to Bills takeaways

Posted by Chris Brown on October 10, 2011 – 11:48 am

The Bills are first in the league in total takeaways (16) and interceptions with 12 in five games. But it’s what the Bills have done with those takeaways that have been even more impressive.
Only three of Buffalo’s 16 takeaways have not turned into points, and in two of those instances it was because the game ended. Buffalo has scored 10 touchdowns and three field goals off of their takeaways for 79 of their 164 points on the season. That’s 48 percent of their point total.

They got seven points in a three-point win over Oakland. They put up 24 in a three-point win against New England. And Sunday they had 17 in a seven-point win over Philadelphia. Knowing how close three of Buffalo’s four wins have been the value of the Bills takeaways have been immeasurable.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Takeaway issue not a shock

Posted by Chris Brown on October 22, 2010 – 2:00 pm

Through five games played the Bills have the least number of takeaways in the league with just four in five games. But there are a number of reasons why a secondary that was surpremely opportunistic last season has not been thus far this year.

First and foremost opposing offenses have been in favorable down and distance most of the time, due to Buffalo’s leaky run defense. Facing 2nd-and-medium and a lot of 3rd-and-shorts, opponents have not been in obvious passing situations, which would allow the Bills to get aggressive defensively and go after the passer.

As a result, there’s less pressure on opposing quarterbacks, fewer hurried or errant throws and thus fewer opportunities for Buffalo’s defenders on the back end. Head coach Chan Gailey offered his take on it as well.

“I think that a lot of it plays into it,” Gailey said. “Our opponents have had the lead, they haven’t had to throw it. They have not been backed up so to speak.”

Buffalo has had a tough time winning field position or even flipping the field at times, which is something Gailey had his special teams units focus on in the bye week.

“We’ve got to try to back them up and make them go the long, hard way,” said Gailey. “People have not been successful if they’ve had to start inside their own 20-yard line and have to drive the length of the field. So it’s incumbent upon the rest of the team, the coverage teams in the kick game and the offense to be involved in helping the defense out and make opponents go the length of the field.”

Gailey wants the offense to at least gain a field position advantage if they’re unable to score points, and have his special teams limit returns to keep the opposing offense pinned in their own territory.

Buffalo is giving opponents an average drive start of their own 32-yard line. Only Dallas is giving opponents a better starting point to this point in the season (34.5).

Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills takeaways among league’s best

Posted by Chris Brown on October 26, 2009 – 4:00 pm

A short two weeks ago the Bills were 30th in takeaway-giveaway ratio at minus-6. They’re considerably better now.

Buffalo now ranks 12th at a plus-2 thanks to their 10 takeaways the past two weeks. The defense is responsible for eight of them, all via the interception, while special teams has an INT and a fumble recovery (Sunday).

They’re also tied for first in the league in interceptions with 13 on the season with New Orleans and first in passes defensed with 55.

Buffalo has the league’s 10th ranked pass defense.

Posted in Inside the Bills

2 things I don’t like about Chiefs matchup

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2008 – 2:32 pm

There are two trends I don’t like about Buffalo’s matchup with the Chiefs this Sunday.

First, the home team has won 10 of the last 11 in this series.

Second, the Chiefs have 10 takeaways in their last four games and are a +8 in the takeaway-giveaway category over that span. Only Arizona has more takeaways this season than Kansas City.

And we know how poorly Buffalo has done in terms of taking care of the football. The Bills are a -10 in takeaway-giveaway on their current four game losing streak.

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