We know the Bills are lacking at wide receiver these days. The Sammy Watkins trade, Anquan Boldin’s surprise retirement and Jordan Matthews’ thumb injury reduced the group to a struggling rookie, kick return specialists and street free agents on Sunday.
How unproductive has the receiving corps been though the first five games?
“Historically bad,” ESPN’s Mike Rodak wrote.
Bills wide receivers have averaged 4.8 receptions on 10.2 targets for 63.2 yards through five games, lower numbers than any NFL receiving group has put up for a full season since 2001, according to data from ESPN Stats & Information.
The 24 receptions through five games are the fewest by any group of wide receivers since the 2009 Raiders. That run-heavy Raiders team averaged 9.8 points during its 1-4 start and finished 5-11. Rookie Louis Murphy led all Oakland wide receivers with 12 receptions for 174 yards through the first five games, better than any of the current Bills receivers.
Jordan Matthews leads Bills wide receivers with 10 receptions (on 13 targets) for 162 yards and a touchdown in four games. Among healthy receivers, Andre Holmes leads the way with six receptions (on eight targets) for 35 yards and two touchdowns. Second-round pick Zay Jones has caught only five of 23 passes thrown his way for 66 yards.
The NFL has become even more passing-oriented since 2009, but “the Bills entered Sunday with perhaps the NFL’s worst depth chart at wide receiver,” wrote Rodak, co-host of "The Tim Graham Show" every Wednesday on 1270 The Fan and BNblitz.
The Bills’ top receivers through the first five games have been running back LeSean McCoy (27 catches, 189 yards) and injured tight end Charles Clay (20 catches, 258 yards, two touchdowns).