Bills Improve Towards Season’s End, Still Finish 6-10

ORCHARD PARK – The 2018 Buffalo Bills football team finished with a record of 6-10, failing to make the playoffs for the 18th season in the last 19. 

Despite having heavy struggles on the offensive side of the ball, improvement was shown over the last seven games, where the Bills averaged nearly 25 points a game during that stretch. Buffalo only scored 96 points in their first nine games, and were dead last in scoring in the NFL at the time.

The Bills also had a temporary quarterback merry-go-round due to injuries and very poor play. Turnover machine Nathan Peterman, and ex-Panthers backup QB Derek Anderson each started two games, journeyman Matt Barkley started one game, and rookie Josh Allen started the other 11.

Buffalo ranked 30th both in scoring, and total yards of offense.

Anderson (concussion) and Allen (elbow), were injured in October, Peterman would get cut in November, and Barkley wound up signing a two-year contract extension in December.

Anderson signed a one-year extension on Monday.

In total, all of these quarterbacks combined only completed 54.3% of their passes, threw only 13 touchdowns, and 23 interceptions.

Allen, the Bills rookie quarterback, showed huge glimpses of things to come for the Buffalo offense.

In his debut season, Allen passed for 2,074 and 10 touchdowns, although Allen also threw 12 interceptions.

Allen also ran for 631 yards and eight touchdowns, both team highs. Allen became the first QB in team history to lead the team in both passing and rushing in a season.

LeSean McCoy had a very disappointing 2018 campaign, setting career lows in rush yards and total yards from scrimmage. McCoy’s 752 scrimmage yards are a career low, the first time he has failed to at least crack 1,000 total yards since his rookie season in 2009, where McCoy had 945 scrimmage yards.

McCoy also had a season low three touchdowns.

Zay Jones led Buffalo in all three receiving categories. In his sophomore NFL season, Jones caught 56 passes, for 652 yards and seven touchdowns.

Robert Foster also came alive at the midway point of the season. After being waived, cut, and put on the practice squad in October, Foster was promoted to the active roster.

Foster only had two receptions for 30 yards prior to being cut, and re-promoted.

After returning to the active roster in November, Foster caught 25 passes, for 511 yards and three touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Bills defense was ranked number two in the league.

Rookie linebacker, Tremaine Edmunds, led the defense with 121 tackles. Edmunds also recorded two sacks and two interceptions.

Jordan Poyer totaled 100 tackles, two sacks, and a team-high four interceptions.

Jerry Hughes had 37 tackles and a team-leading seven sacks.

In his final NFL season, Kyle Williams totaled 34 tackles and five sacks.

Buffalo’s defense totaled 16 interceptions, and 36 QB sacks. Their defense also allowed a little over 294 yards of offense per game.

On special teams, kicker Stephen Hauschka had a late season slump, missing five field goals in the last five games. Hauschka, however, did sustain an injury during their home game against the Jets.

For Hauschka, it was the first time since 2009 he failed to make at least 80 percent of his field-goal attempts.

Buffalo also had a merry-go-round for punters. Eight games in, Corey Bojorquez landed on IR in October due to a shoulder injury.

Colton Schmidt, who was cut after losing his punting job to Bojurquez, was brought back, only to be cut again after three games.

Former Dolphins punter Matt Darr, who had been out of the NFL since 2016, was signed by Buffalo in November to fill the void. Darr punted in Buffalo’s final five games.

With the season over, the Bills will hold the #10 pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.