As noted on the previous slide, the Buffalo Bills defense had one of the best pass defenses last year but have not been able to replicate that performance this season. Through three games, the Bills have allowed five passing touchdowns (compared to 15 all of last season), two 300 yard passers (they allowed two through 16 games), and the yards per attempt average has gone from 5.6 yards per attempt last year to 7.2 yards per attempt this season.
The Buffalo Bills have also seen teams averaging more passing attempts this season with an average of 38 per game, which is up from 34.5 last season. This isn’t surprising considering the Buffalo Bills offense has been building huge leads that require the opponent to start throwing it much more. However, the combined increase in pass attempts with the higher average yards per attempt is why the Bills have seen such an increase in passing yards against.
Another reason for the potential increase is the Bills were without both linebackers in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins. Tremaine Edmunds, but more specifically Matt Milano, are critical parts to this pass defense and that was evident against the Dolphins as Mike Gesicki caught 130 receiving yards.
If the offense continues to produce at this high level, the secondary should expect to see much higher pass attempts than last year. One of the changes on the defense this year has been a much higher percentage of blitzes and the Bills are blitzing on over 42% of their defensive plays but are only getting pressure on 24% of plays.
Instead of sending an extra rusher, especially since they aren’t pressuring at a great rate, it could help to drop another player into coverage to limit the passing lanes of the opposing quarterbacks.
Another potential boost could be the return of Josh Norman, who started practicing this week and could return soon.