Buffalo, NY — The Buffalo Bills are off to their best ever start, with a record of 6-1, heading into their week 8 bye week. “We’re feeling good right now. Winning does that, but before the season started we knew we had a good group of men in the locker room. Everyone has bought into our system, that’s a huge thing if you want your team to be successful. We still have plenty of things we need to get better at though and we’ll take this upcoming bye week to make those adjustments and at the same time give these guys a well deserve break.” said Bills coach Sean McDermott.
As McDermott said, there are still things to improve upon and two of those areas are the rushing and passing defense. The Bills currently rank 19th against the rush, allowing 92.3 yards per game and 14th against the pass, allowing 205.7 yards per game. “It’s something I’m sure our coaches will have us work on this coming week.” said Bills left end Shaq Lawson, who leads the Bills in sacks with 9 “We know this defense is good. We’ve made the big stops when we needed. But, we need to be more consistent.”.
On the offensive side of the ball the Bills need to improve their passing game. They’re averaging 181.1 yards per game which ranks them 21st in the league. That stat however is a bit deceiving when you look at what Tyrod Taylor has done this year compared to last season at this exact point of the season, the numbers are a huge turn around. For starters, by this time last season Taylor had thrown a staggering 12 interceptions in seven games, compared to just 2 this season. He’s touchdown production has also greatly increased. In seven games last season he had thrown for just two touchdown, this time around he has 9 touchdowns through seven games. “Familiarity is the main reason for the turnaround.” said Taylor “We know the system well now. I’m comfortable this time knowing where and when our guys will be open. Receivers know their routes better, so when you put all that together it’s a recipe for success. I think too that the run game this season has helped us tremendously. It gets some of that pressure of my shoulders when we have a good pass, run balance.”
The rush game has indeed improved and despite losing LeSean McCoy in week 4 to a shoulder tear, the Bills rank 3rd in the league in rushing. Eddy Lacy has been the work horse for the Bills since McCoy went out. Lacy is averaging 58.9 yards per game, has scored 4 touchdowns and ranks 9th in the league with 412 yards.
With all that said it’s still a long way to go for the Bills to think about the playoffs. Their two games after the bye are against division rivals. Their first game after the bye, in week 9, will be against the Miami Dolphins. Despite the 1-5, the Dolphins still have the players needed to win and if the Bills are careful they could end up on the wrong side of the ball, like the Chicago Bears, who gave the Dolphins their first win of the season.
Week 10 will be the biggest challenge any team in the AFC East can face. They’ll be taking on the defending AFC East Champions, New England Patriots. The Patriots have had their struggles of late, winning just 3 of their first 6 games. But, as everyone knows, the Patriots are more than capable of turning things around. So, it be best for the Bills to take full advantage of the Patriots slow start and get a win to increase their lead in the division to 4 or 5 games.