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Vic Carucci's Wake-Up Call: Offensive change for the better

The sample size is still fairly small, but it's hard to ignore the dramatic improvement in the Buffalo Bills' rushing attack in the four games since Anthony Lynn replaced Greg Roman as offensive coordinator.

It's also hard to ignore that the Bills won all four games.

Making a blanket statement that Roman's scheming and play-calling were the reason for the Bills' 0-2 start and would have continued to be an anchor weighing down the offense and the team if he remained on the job seems like a bit of an overstatement.

That might change, of course, if the trend holds up for another couple of weeks -- and especially if the Bills knock off the New England Patriots for the second time this season. In the meantime, it's still fair to say that Lynn, formerly the Bills' assistant head coach/running backs coach, has made some changes for the better in his area of expertise.

"We're doing some different things," center Eric Wood said Sunday after he and the rest of the Bills' offensive line helped LeSean McCoy rush for 140 yards and three touchdowns in the 45-16 victory against the San Francisco 49ers.

That pushed McCoy's season total to 587 yards, making him the second-leading rusher in the NFL behind Dallas rookie Ezekiel Elliott. McCoy's 5.6-yards-per-carry average is, however, the best among the league's top 25 rushers.

Wood didn't want to go overboard with the notion that the dramatic surge in the Bills' ground production was more about strategy than performance.

"I honestly think we're playing better as a team," he said. "We're executing better. There's a lot that goes into it. Anthony Lynn is certainly a part of that, but we weren't blocking and running as well as we are now the first couple games."

No argument there.

The question is why? Did the defenses of the Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets have something to do with that? Perhaps.

But there has been at least one strategic adjustment by Lynn that figures to be contributing to the Bills' rushing dominance the past four weeks. He's calling some of the same plays over and over. Rather than having the linemen try to grasp Roman's extensive menu of blocking schemes, Lynn is focused on having them master what could be considered "specials" prepared for a specific opponent.

"We're repeating plays throughout the game that we're good at," Wood said. "We had a few big runs (Sunday) on 'powers' (featuring down blocks that drove defensive linemen toward the center while other offensive linemen pulled) and a few big runs on the counters back off of it, whether either I or one of the guards was pulling to the weak side.

"So we are repeating plays maybe a little bit more."

As long as they worked as well as they did against the Niners, why not?

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