Buffalo Bills have personnel to run more four wide receiver sets in 2021

Gabriel Davis, Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Gabriel Davis, Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

One of the aspects of the Buffalo Bills offense under Brian Daboll that stands out is he is going to call plays that maximize the strengths of the personnel and playmakers he has. This was evident when looking at 1-0 personnel, or four wide receiver sets, from 2019 to 2020.

In 2019, according to Sharp Football Stats, the Bills ran only four plays with four wide receivers on the field. However, that number jumped to 186 plays or 15% of all offensive plays run in 2020 (which was the second-highest total in the entire NFL).

This was due to the depth the Bills had at the wide receiver position with Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis added in the offseason. However, with John Brown missing a significant part of the season due to injury that likely limited the number of four wide receiver sets the Bills could run, even though their was an increase.

Entering this year, that percentage should increase due in part to hopefully the entire position staying healthy but also a change at the position. The Buffalo Bills decided to make a switch by releasing John Brown and signing free agent Emmanuel Sanders.

Sanders is a veteran receiver that brings a little more versatility as Brian Daboll noted this week while talking with the media: “He’s flexible in terms of playing inside and outside.”

Daboll followed that up by elaborating a little more by saying: “He’s got the veteran saavy where you can just throw him in and just line them up just about anywhere.”

The fact that the Buffalo Bills still have questions at tight end with Dawson Knox still being the top tight end and a run game that Daboll said would be focused on efficiency, would set this team up to lean on four wide receiver sets with Sanders, Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis seeing a majority of those snaps.

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This is where the strength of this offense lies and could set the Buffalo Bills up to have an even better passing attack than a season ago with a shift to more four wide receiver sets.