To put it lightly, the Bills offense has been non-existent through two weeks of the NFL season. They rank 25th, 23rd and 26th in yards per game, passing yards per game and points per game. The rushing offense is top 10 in the NFL, however star Running Back LeSean McCoy was held to just 9 yards on 12 carries in last weeks loss against Carolina. These number most likely will not get better, as the Broncos defense held 2016 NFL rushing leader Ezekiel Elliott to 8 yards rushing a week ago. Much of the problem for the Bills seem to lie with the quarterback.
Tyrod Taylor could not seem to find much of anything against the Panthers. Week after week, the cries from Buffalo fans to move Tyrod out of office seem to grow louder. Rookie QB Nathan Peterman would be the likely replacement, and although he may be a better pocket passer than Taylor, Taylor’s ability to elude defenders and create time for his receivers may be unmatched.
In what seems to be more of a rebuilding year for the Bills, Peterman will most likely get playing time. However, I believe the Bills should wait to make this move. These next two games should make or break Tyrod Taylor as a starter in the NFL. He will be going up against two of the best teams in the NFL in the Broncos and Falcons, not to mention that these two teams that have made the Super Bowl within the last two seasons. The excuse of a new wide receiving core can work for the first couple of weeks, but it is now time for Taylor to prove himself. The Broncos secondary, also known as the “No Fly Zone”, will make it tough on Taylor to make big plays, not to mention a high-flying front 7 will be in his face most of the afternoon.
By Week 3, Taylor must become comfortable enough to trust guys like Jordan Matthews, Andre Holmes and Charles Clay, proven veterans in the NFL. The key to the passing game may lie with rookie WR Zay Jones, who dropped a 4th down catch that may have won the game last week for the Bills (on a throw that was not exactly perfect from Taylor). The trust must be built between Taylor and Jones, as the Bills don’t have many big play options in the offense. The deep ball, which was a strong suit of Tyrod Taylor a year ago, has been non-existent. Secondaries can press up on the Bills receivers because there is no threat of a pass going longer than 20 yards. The aforementioned Andre Holmes stands at 6 foot 4 and could prove to be a deep-ball threat, if given the opportunity. No matter how the Bills figure out how to run their offense, 3.5 yards per play and 10 first downs a game will never cut it in this league.
Perhaps the biggest bright spot for the Bills is the phenomenal play of their defense. Despite being on the field two-thirds of the game last Sunday, the Bills held Carolina to just 9 points, sacking QB Cam Newton 6 times. The only knock on the Bills defense has been their inability to get turnovers and flip field position, but fans will never complain after allowing just 3 field goals. This Sunday will be a huge test, as one of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL in Trevor Siemian comes into Buffalo, following a game in which the Broncos blew out the Cowboys 42-17. Siemian threw for 231 yards, adding 4 passing touchdowns. Broncos RB C.J. Anderson is averaging 99.5 yards a game on the ground and WR Demaryius Thomas is always a problem for secondaries. The Bills defense will certainly have to prove themselves this week against a dangerous Denver offense.
So Bills fans, here’s the good news. The offense may be tough to watch, but the defense has been much better than expected. The Bills play Denver at home, the Broncos first road game of the year, and the Bills love playing at home in front of one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL. Realistically, these next two weeks will be extremely tough for a Bills team that seems a year away from taking that next step. However, they’re also just a home upset away from being 2-1. Either way, the season is still young and the Bills have time to figure out exactly where they are as a team, and it starts this week at New Era Field against the Broncos.
(Picture credit: sportige.com)
Luke Owens is a freshman at Oswego State in the broadcasting program. He hopes to one day host his own TV and radio shows, while also announcing games. He roots for the Yankees, Bills, Magic, Sabres and Syracuse. Follow him on Twitter @LuketheKid3 and be sure to check out his podcast, Off the Wall with Luke Owens on Soundcloud.