Pro Football Focus recently ranked the Buffalo Bills offensive line in the Top 10 in pass-blocking longer developing plays.
Last offseason, the Buffalo Bills almost entirely overhauled their offensive line as they entered last year with four new starters. The free agent signings of Quinton Spain, Mitch Morse, and Jon Feliciano, along with second round draft pick Cody Ford, joined the lone returning starter Dion Dawkins and the results were great.
One of the areas they showed marked improvement was protecting Josh Allen on pass plays. Recently, Pro Football Focus ranked the Bills offensive line as the 10th best line in protection on longer developing pass plays. These are determined as plays that have the highest positive difference between three and 4.5 seconds into the play.
10. BUFFALO BILLS
2019 ranking on long plays: 12th
2019 ranking on intended long developing plays: 14th
Starters lost: None
The Buffalo Bills have built one of the best offensive supporting casts in the league. While the receiving weapons might get more attention with the signing of Stefon Diggs, the offensive line was already good in 2019 and goes into 2020 with the same starting lineup. Josh Allen shouldn’t worry about his pass protection, even on longer developing plays.
Why this is important in 2020?
This is certainly good news for Josh Allen as he tries to improve on a lackluster performance throwing the deep ball in 2019. Pro Football Focus had Allen ranked 32nd in the NFL on deep passes last year, completing only 24.1% of passes thrown more than 20 yards down field.
The Buffalo Bills front office knows that for this offense to really take that next step they need to have more than just the threat of Allen throwing a deep pass. They needed to improve on this area and was one of the reasons they traded for wide receiver Stefon Diggs.
Diggs is one of the better receivers in the NFL on these types of plays and that should help Josh Allen but that is only part of the equation. The Bills are going to have to make sure Allen has time in the pocket to let the play develop to connect with Diggs, and the other receivers, on these types of plays.
This is an important year for Allen and the rest of the Buffalo Bills offense and the line is expected to play a crucial part in their success.