Share this article

print logo

Power Take: There’s really nothing wrong with how Bills are thinking

There’s a misconception about the Bills’ decision to try to win with a running game and a strong defense. It does not fly in the face of analytics.

Yes, it’s contrary to the prevailing NFL trend. Most top teams have highly productive pass offenses. But that’s because most of them have a proven franchise quarterback. Yet Denver won with defense and running last year. It did not ask creaky Peyton Manning to “out-yardage” Tom Brady. Seattle, San Francisco and Baltimore also recently reached the Super Bowl with roughly the same formula as Denver. So it depends on what analytics you want to use.

Analytics “say” go for it on fourth and 2 more often. I buy that. But keep in mind that’s partly because good QBs bring the average up. If Trent Edwards was your QB, you could find analytics that show he’s bound to throw a swing pass behind the line of scrimmage that gets stuffed.

People get carried away with analytics. You can find very good analytics that say don’t ask Tyrod Taylor to “out-Brady” the Patriots.

The Bills’ blueprint is perfectly logical. Whether it succeeds or not, we’ll wait to see.