Driving Math & Analysis
Much has been talked about in the way our (hopefully) improved defense should lead to a better offense. The fact the offense is remaining (mostly) intact from a year ago has led to many saying our offense should also improve across the board. I wanted to take a look at one aspect of the game. How much did we move the chains last year and how much were they moved against us. Also, did we get points off of those drives? Did our opponents?
Average Drive Length 31.54 yds (12th in the league) not too shabby !
Average Points Per Drive 1.74 points (18th) shabby !
Average Starting Field Position 26.49 yard line (27th) awful !!
Average Drive Length 32.73 (26th) awful
Average Points Per Drive 2.21 (28th) worse than awful
Average Starting Field Position 29.43 (22nd) not good
So looking at these numbers, the Bills are losing 1.19 yards per drive .... this doesn't seem to be a HUGE gap
However, we are losing .47 points per drive .... this is horrendous !!!!!
Also, the Bills are playing on a longer field ... by 2.94 yards
Now, the thing with these numbers is they are averages, so obviously I am not getting into all the details of every game. However, over the course of the season, everything does seem to average out.
Just looking at the playoff teams, every team that made it was EITHER top 10 OFF or top 10 DEF, with the exception of DEN (in the woeful AFC West)
I think the Bills brass is banking on a stouter DEF that leads to better field position for the OFF and hopefully more points for the Bills and less for the opponents.
I think the stat here that stands out the most is the point per drive differential. Obviously, we need to score more points than the opponent to win, and that is the name of the game.
There was one other stat that stood out as well....TO's per drive the Bills were ranked 27th, INT(31st)....this obviously needs much improvement as well.
1.) In 2012, can the Bills reach top 10 in either or both categories ????
2.) If so, which one ??
3.) Can Fitz protect the ball if he has a lead or the game is still winnable ?
To go further, the only team in the NFL last year who made the playoffs with a negative net drive distance value was the Denver Broncos.
Of the 15 teams with a net positive rating, 11 of them made the playoffs.
If the defense goes from terrible to average, we have a decent shot at the playoffs without the offense changing at all.
If the defense goes from terrible to good, we probably have a good shot without the O improving at all.