Buffalo Bills: A closer look at the league’s second-ranked defense

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

The Buffalo Bills are 3-7 on the year but have the second-best defense in terms of total yards. Let’s take a deeper look into the numbers.

The Buffalo Bills have not kept things close in the seven losses for the team this season.

The team has lost by double-digits six times, with five losses coming by at least 19 points.

That may make some think that the offense and defense are to blame, but the defense holds a high rank so far this season.

The Bills currently allow 302.2 yards per game on defense, while the Baltimore Ravens are first at exactly 300 per game.

Being at the top of the defensive standings isn’t indicative of a team being a Super Bowl contender. Just ask the Kansas City Chiefs, who are ranked 30th in total defense. But it does show there is some talent in the group.

The defense has had its struggles this year. The team looked lost in Week 1 against the Ravens in a 47-3 defeat. Yet the Bills offense only picked up 10 first downs and only held the ball for about 25 minutes.

Moving on from that debacle, the Bills defense has allowed 25.1 points per game. The offense has averaged a dismal 13.5. Not even two touchdowns!

Then there is the takeaway/giveaway number. The defense has forced 15 turnovers. The offense has given it away 22 times. It’s hard to hold opposing offenses when your own offense turns the ball over more than twice per game.

There comes a point when it doesn’t matter how good a defense is if the offense is not even scoring 14 points per game.

This fact showed itself during the Monday night game against the New England Patriots. The score was 12-6 at the end of the third quarter and the Bills defense kept giving the offense opportunities to take the lead. Instead, a pick-six was what the offense had as a response and the Bills lost, 25-6.

It has been hard for Bills fans to sit down on Sunday nights after losses and brag about the defense. A loss is a loss and the lack of offense has made it tough to watch at times.

But those trusting the process can rest easy knowing that the defense is playing at an above-average level with some young players leading the way. Tremaine Edmunds, Matt Milano and Tre’Davious White are among those who have been playing great football all season.

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Regardless of the way this season ends, the experience will benefit all the young players moving forward. The key is to avoid an existence where the defense is elite, and the offense struggles. The Bills don’t want to end up like the Jaguars.