Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bills' offense vows to improve on red zone struggles


The Buffalo Bills reached the red zone six times against the Miami Dolphins Sunday but found the end zone just once on said trips, along with a quartet of field goals.

Only touchdowns are counted in red zone efficiency, where the Bills rank 29th, according to This is a familiar spot for Buffalo, as they ranked 29th in red zone efficiency in 2013.

The opportunities are there, the Bills just aren’t converting. So far, the team has managed 18 rushing yards and 36 passing yards on 25 red zone snaps this season.

It hasn't bitten the team yet, as the Bills stand at 2-0, coming off a big divisional victory over the Miami Dolphins following an overtime upset of the Chicago Bears. Still, the red zone a big focus moving forward.

“We just have to be more efficient. That’s it,” Bills quarterback EJ Manuel, who missed Watkins in the end zone Sunday, said this week, via Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News. “When you have the opportunity to hit touchdown passes, make sure you take advantage of them.”

Coach Doug Marrone also chimed in, taking some responsibility himself.

“I’m not trying to mitigate what’s going on in the red zone, but at the same time, the Chicago one we were playing for a field goal to win the game and yesterday there were three times that right, wrong, or indifferent, I was playing conservative," he said.

Despite playing it safe, Marrone says that there’s no excuse for not converting in the red zone. He also credited the Dolphins’ defense, which forced the Bills to pass on multiple occasions.

“When you’re not able to run the ball down there – which give Miami credit for doing a nice job against the run in those situations – then the passes have to come,” Marrone said. “There are things that are open and it is part of the progression. It’s part of that progression of getting better. It’s a difficult part of the game. It’s so much tighter, so much quicker. Things happen extremely fast down there.”

Miami forced Buffalo into five field goal attempts in the red zone, with kicker Dan Carpenter converting four times.

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