Dec 18, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) runs with the ball during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at New Era Field. Bills beat the Browns 33-13. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
The 2016 Buffalo Bills’ squad is scoring the ball more efficiently than this city has seen in a while.
Before fans chalk this up as another unsuccessful season for the Buffalo Bills, it’s important to look at the stats and see just how well we are doing.
Now, we are going to look at this team as a whole and why fans shouldn’t be panicking just because we will most likely go another season without the playoffs. More specifically, we are going to look at how well the Bills have been scoring the ball under Tyrod Taylor — compared to other quarterbacks we’ve seen.
Right off the bat, the Buffalo Bills are scoring the ball more efficiently than this franchise has seen in a while. In fact, we are scoring the ball more efficiently this season than in any other season since we last made the playoffs. It’s been a rough 16 — going on 17 — years, but it wouldn’t make sense to get rid of your quarterback and head coach when this offense is playing better than we’ve seen in almost 20 years.
As of right now, the Bills have scored a total of 358 points this season — an average of 25.6 points per game — and rank 9th in the league. Yes, we are in the top-10 in scoring this season under Tyrod Taylor and Rex Ryan. In the past 17 years, we’ve only scored more than 375 points in three seasons and one of those seasons was last year (with Tyrod and Rex).
If we continue our 25.6 points per game average for these last two games, we will finish with 409 points scored this season. In the history of this franchise, we have only scored more than 400 points 6 times — 1964, 1975, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1998. If you don’t think that puts this team in good company, those six seasons listed above featured an AFL Championship (1964), O.J. Simpson (1975), Jim Kelly (1989-1991) and Rob Johnson/Doug Flutie (1998).
Since then, we haven’t had a better scoring team than the one we have right now. That means, we haven’t been in a better position to make the playoffs than with this team.
Let’s talk playoff drought, though. Our 25.6 points per game this season should make fans happy, despite our record. When you’re a team that’s rebuilding, wins and losses shouldn’t matter. Obviously you want your team to win, but seeing your team improve and get better on the field — that’s what matters when in a rebuild.
Since this a team that is currently rebuilding, the improvement we’ve seen means that those wins are very near.
Since 2000, the Buffalo Bills have only eclipsed more than 20 points per game in 9 different seasons. Six of those seasons have come in the past six years — yes, we’ve been over the 20 PPG mark for the past six years. The other three came in 2002, 2004 and 2008.
With the way this team has been scoring under Tyrod Taylor, it’s going to be very difficult for me to watch him go this season — if he does. When Doug Whaley became our GM in 2013, our team went from 22nd in the league in scoring (2013) to 18th in the league (2014). Then, they brought Rex Ryan in as head coach. That ranking went up to 12th in the league under Rex in his first year. We’ve jumped up to 9th this season.
That’s improvement you want to see. Not to mention, we take care of the ball just as well as any other team. Since we are scoring as good as anyone and taking care of the ball better than anyone, can we really blame the offense for our 7-7 record? Or is it simply our defense giving up too much points and our offense not being able to make up for it?
The point I am trying to make here is that we finally have an offense that can score and finally are in a position to build around what we have and be a top contender in two years, maybe even next year. However, if we make major changes this offseason, that all goes out the door. If you think this team is going to do better under someone else, you’re not helping this team get better. You’re actually setting them up to do exactly as they have done the past 17 years.
If we want to make the playoffs, we need Tyrod Taylor next season. Instead of getting rid of him, we need to find a few solid players in the draft to work around him and maybe some in free agency if the money is there.
We need to stop looking at our playoff drought as if it’s been 17 years and instead look at it like it’s been only two years. That’s how long we’ve had THIS team and you can’t blame the past 15 years on a team that wasn’t even here for those 15 years.
This team could be dangerous next season, but not if front office does what I think they’re going to do.
To end on a good note, congratulations to the 2016 Buffalo Bills for doing things this team hasn’t done in a while. With 43 points over these next two games, we could have our best scoring season since 1991.
This team isn’t bad, they’re just incomplete and you can’t expect them to make it complete in a couple years. We went from dysfunctional to functional and now everyone wants to go back to dysfunctional by cleaning house.
Now that we have our best team in almost 20 years, let’s not ruin it. Instead, let’s build around them.
Cool fact: If we continue our 25.6 points per game average against the Dolphins and Jets, we will finish at 409 points on the season. The last time we had numbers like that was 1989… The following year we made it to the Super Bowl and did it three more times in a row.