The Buffalo Bills ran the ball a lot last season, but they made good use of it and led the league in rushes over 20 yards.
Here’s a stat to be proud of as a Buffalo Bills’ fan: the Bills had 27 rushes go for more than 20 yards last season, the next closest team was the Oakland Raiders with just 19.
Yeah, Buffalo was that much better. To be fair, the Bills also led the league in first downs on the ground, yards, average yards per carry, touchdowns and even was tied for having the second-longest rushing TD last season — a 75-yard TD.
Just to boast a little more, the Bills were also tied for the most rushes over 40 yards — totaling 5 of them, along with the Kansas City Chiefs and Dolphins. But who cares about them, they each only had 12 rushes over 20 yards.
Here’s a breakdown of how the Buffalo Bills’ rushes over 20 yards were distributed:
- LeSean McCoy – 11
- Tyrod Taylor – 7
- Mike Gillislee – 7
- Jonathan Williams – 1
- Brandon Tate – 1
Several things will need to happen if the Buffalo Bills want to finish 2017 with more than 27 rushes of 20+ yards. Let’s take a look:
The offensive line will be instrumental in creating holes for the Bills’ rushers to glide through. With Richie Incognito and John Miller returning at guards, that shouldn’t be a problem. Also having Eric Wood back, Cordy Glenn healthy as well and Dion Dawkins/Jordan Mills battling it out, I have zero doubt that there will be holes this season.
Let’s be honest, though. Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy don’t necessarily need holes — they create their own. Those holes will become very important when Jonathan Williams is handed the ball. If he can return to his college form, he’ll be able to break through most people. Until then, he’ll need a little room to make things happen. With Gillislee gone, he’s got big shoes to fill.
The Buffalo Bills’ starting running back and quarterback will need to have healthy seasons, no matter what. If an injury arises and they are limited in either way, the chances for big plays decreases dramatically. These two are known for their playmaking abilities and it will be needed in 2017 if the playoffs are the goal.
Surprisingly, I think the Buffalo Bills will have more than 27 rushes over 20 yards. Breaking it down, I am going to expect 13 from LeSean McCoy this season and another 9 from Tyrod Tyalor. That would leave 6 for Jonathan Williams and company to make up for, which I think is reasonable.
Then again, who knows, maybe LeSean McCoy decides to go for 28 himself. If anyone is going to do it, it’s Shady.
How many do you think the Buffalo Bills will get this season? Leave your thoughts below!