Any sensible person knew that the Buffalo Bills were going to bad this season. They were a bad team last year that needed a miracle to get into the playoffs for the first time in 17 years, and then proceeded to score 3 points against the Jacksonville Jaguars defense. Tyrod Taylor was then traded, they drafted the notoriously inaccurate Josh Allen, and kept Nathan Peterman, aka The Peter Man.
Unsurprisingly, the results have been disastrous.
The Bills held the Chicago Bears to just 190 yards of offense on Sunday, yet lost 41-9 thanks to a couple of defensive scores. That’s the third-most points any team in NFL history has scored despite failing to clear 200 yards of total offense.
In a nutshell, this describes the 2018 Buffalo Bills. They have the 4th ranked defense by DVOA, but are far and away the worst offense in the NFL under basically every simple or advanced statistical metric.
The 1992 Seattle Seahawks ranked 3rd in DVOA on defense, but 28th out of 28 teams on offense. Football Outsiders’ DVOA rankings stretch back as far as 1986, and the ‘92 Seahawks set the standard for offensive ineptitude. It was a total waste of the late Cortez Kennedy’s phenomenal year, which earned him Defensive Player of the Year honors.
At this rate, however, that dreaded Seahawks team may be usurped by the 2018 Bills. I see your Stan Gelbaugh/Kelly Stouffer/Dan McGwire trio and raise you The Peter Man/Josh Allen/Derek Anderson. As of the Week 8 ratings (so the Bears game hasn’t been counted yet), the Bills offensive DVOA tracked at -51.8%. The 1992 Seahawks finished at -41.3%, so the Bills are on pace to be the worst offense by DVOA that’s ever been measured.
Buffalo is dead-last in scoring at 96 points through 9 games, with only 8 touchdowns scored, and five games in which they failed to break double digits. Don’t let that ridiculous 27-6 upset of the Minnesota Vikings fool you, either. They had just 292 yards of offense and three of their five scoring drives started in Minnesota territory, so they had short fields and a smaller window to screw it all up.
Allen, Peterman, and Anderson have combined for 3 touchdown passes to 16 interceptions, with a quarterback rating of 51.5. Hell, even Gelbaugh/Stouffer/McGwire finished at 9 TDs/23 INTs, albeit with two of them completing at a sub-50% rate. Even worse? Peterman and Anderson have thrown a combined three pick-sixes, so they’ve thrown as many touchdowns to the other team as their own! Their collective NY/A is 4.2, and Peterman in particular is so awful that against the Bears, he threw three interceptions — admittedly not all were his fault — and his career QB rating went up. His final statline saw him throw 31/49 for only 189 yards, the fewest yards ever for that many completed passes. Bills quarterbacks have also been sacked a combined 33 times, and Peterman actually has -0.36 ANY/A, which seems impossible to achieve as a multi-game starter.
The Buffalo rushing attack isn’t much better, either. They’re averaging just 3.7 yards per carry (30th in the NFL), with LeSean McCoy at a career-worst 3.1. Josh Allen leads the team in rushing touchdowns with three, and Chris Ivory is their leader in rush yards at 280 on 80 carries. Almost as if this was a bad signing to begin with! The ‘92 Seahawks were fifth-to-last in rushing DVOA, but Chris Warren managed a 1,000 yard season and 4.6 yards per carry.
Let’s not completely put the blame of the Bills’ offensive woes on the quarterbacks and the running backs. Have you seen that group of wide receivers? Kelvin Benjamin is barely in shape and offers up almost nothing positive. His catch rate is currently 37% on the year, and he is very much prone to dropped passes. Ditto Zay Jones, who admittedly seems to be Buffalo’s “best” of the bunch at 28 catches for 299 yards and a touchdown. The other WRs on the roster include journeymen Andre Holmes, Jeremy Kerley, and Terrelle Pryor. Former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Logan Thomas is their backup TE.
It’s never been easier to score points in the NFL, so while they may finish with more points scored, more yards, etc. than the 1992 Seahawks, when you adjust for era there is absolutely a case to be made that this is one of the worst units of all-time. I’m sure longtime Seahawks fans won’t mind, as the 2018 Bills may be the new benchmark for bottom-of-the-barrel offensive production. New England Patriots fans also surely won’t mind, as this is yet another year in which their division rivals look anything but menacing.