Friday, November 14, 2014

Marrone finally ready to take look at red-zone woes


Going into Thursday night's game against the Miami Dolphins, it was hard to imagine the Buffalo Bills' red-zone offense performing any worse than it had up to that point.

Apparently it wasn't too hard to imagine.

Buffalo marched downfield and got inside the 20-yard line in each of their first two drives in last night's 22-9 loss, with both drives stalling and ending in field goals. That was the last time they'd get that deep into Miami territory, finishing the game 0-for-2 and pulling their already pitiful scoring percentage even further into the basement.

Coach Doug Marrone vowed Friday to spend the weekend personally trying to fix the unit and its now notoriously terrible execution.

“I’m specifically going to utilize it by going back into the red zone," he said via Chris Brown of "I’m not going to lie to you. I’m going to go back there and I’m going to take a good look at it. It’s my responsibility to answer those questions. I’m responsible for that. There’s no doubt about it.

"For me, the critical area right now for us is obviously the red zone. I’m going to take the majority of my time, outside of managing the team and doing the things I’m supposed to do, I’m going to spend any type of extra time I have in that phase."

It's about time. The team is getting in the end zone only 39 percent of time it gets inside 20 yards, and it hasn't scored a red-zone touchdown since Week 8 against the Jets, when they had their most efficient game of the season.

Moreover, their "skill" players in that area -- tight end Scott Chandler, who scored four of his six touchdowns two years ago inside 20 yards, and wide receiver Mike Williams, who tallied 14 red-zone TDs in a three-year span in Tampa Bay -- have been all but an afterthought. Williams finally saw a target in the nine total plays the Bills ran Thursday, while Chandler saw only one (one of two all night), as well. Both wound up incomplete.

It will be interesting to see what changes Marrone institutes between this week and next, especially with the team prepping for yet another crucial division game, meeting up once again with the Jets squad that allowed them to go 4-for-6 in their first meeting.

We'd like to say it can't get any worse. Then again, we've been proven wrong before.

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