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Stats Wizard: A by-the-numbers look at the Bills' first month

On Sunday, the Bills managed a thrilling 23-17 upset victory over the Atlanta Falcons. They are now 3-1 on the season and in sole possession of the first place in the AFC East Division.

Tyrod Taylor is off to a hot start with a 100.7 passer rating, coupling that with his 104.4 rating through four games in 2015, he joins Jim Kelly (3) and Joe Ferguson (4) as the only Bills’ quarterbacks to have a 100.0 or better passer rating through the first four games a season in multiple years. In fact, Drew Bledsoe and Rob Johnson are the only Buffalo quarterbacks to have even one such season, doing so in 2002 and 2000 respectively.

Taylor’s high passer rating this season is emphasized by his strong touchdown-to-interception rate of 5:1. Joining Joe Ferguson as the only Bills’ quarterbacks in franchise history to have at least five touchdown passes and no more than one interception thrown through the first four weeks of a given year – Ferguson accomplished this feat four times, in 1974, 1975, 1976, and 1979.

The offense has been supplemented nicely by Steven Hauschka’s right foot. He is 8-for-9 this season including 4-for-4 from 50-plus yards. On Sunday, he joined the short list of kickers with multiple field goals made from at least 55 yards out, the full list:

  • Stephen Hauschka on Oct. 1, 2017 (55, 56)
  • Matt Prater on Sept. 24, 2017 (55, 57)
  • Brandon McManus on Sept. 13, 2015 (56, 57)
  • Greg Zuerlein on Sept 30, 2012 (58, 60)
  • Neil Rackers on Oct. 24, 2004 (55, 55)
  • Morten Anderson on Dec. 10, 1995 (55, 55)

Among the short list of six, only Hauschka kicked both of his in the game’s second-half – both coming in the fourth quarter.

Aside from Buffalo’s offense and special teams, their defense has been stellar. They allowed 17 points against the Falcons, which is the most they have allowed in a game this season, making this the first Bills team in franchise history not to allow more than 17 points in any of the first four games of the season. And, just as Taylor’s success has stemmed in part from his touchdown-to-interception rate, their pass defense has benefited from an excellent interception-to-touchdown rate of 6:1, no Buffalo defense has ever had more picks and fewer passing touchdowns allowed through four games – they are the first team with at least six interceptions and no more than one passing touchdown allowed through four games since the 2009 Denver Broncos.

The Bills wrap up the first month of the season leading the division for the first time since Week 4 of 2008 – 3,292 days ago – when they began the year 4-0, only to go 3-9 in the final 12 games.

On this date:  In 1976, Buffalo bested the Kansas City Chiefs 50-17, their most points ever in a single game. Joe Ferguson went 14-for-24 for 184 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions (122.2 passer rating). O.J. Simpson and Jeff Kinney each had 100-yard rushing games, combining for three more scores. The pass defense picked off Tony Adams three times, including a 101-yard pick-six by Tony Greene, which stands as a Bills’ record today.

Did you know? Though McCoy rushed for just 30 yards on 26 carries in the second and third weeks of the season, he still has managed 379 total yards from scrimmage on the year, which ranks ninth among all running backs.

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