It’s fair to say that the Buffalo Bills have been better than many thought they would be entering the season. The Bills have beaten the Jets, Broncos, and Falcons – who are a combined 9-4, by the way – and they lead the league in scoring defense (14.8 points allowed per game).
The only problem? They rank 25th in scoring offense (17.8 points per game).
“The offense has got to catch up with the defense right now,” Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Reed said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “They’re getting to a point in the season where they got to play New Orleans and they got to play some of these teams that score a lot of points. The offense has to score points – because the defense, sooner or later, if they’re on the field longer than they should be, they’re going to wear down and lose games in manners where they haven’t lost games the first five weeks. They have to start scoring points.”
When the Bills score 20+ points, they’re 3-0. They lost 9-3 to the Panthers in Carolina in Week 2, and they lost 20-16 to the Bengals in Cincinnati in Week 5.
“LeSean McCoy, they got to get him going,” Reed said. “He hasn’t really had a great first five weeks. They have to get that running game going and not expect Tyrod to win these games because let’s face it: In Bills fans’ minds, is he the man? Is he a franchise guy? Do we keep him? I think he’s handled it just in a professional manner. He’s a good quarterback . . . (but) that running game is really vital.”
Tyrod Taylor has completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 910 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions this season. Taylor, to be sure, is good enough to be an NFL starter, but does he have enough to beat elite teams in big games?
“I hope he does,” Reed said. “He’s a positive guy, and anytime you hear him talk about any game, he’s always trying to get better. This is a quarterback-driven league. If you don’t have a signal-caller that is consistent on the field every game to a certain point, you’re not going to win games. The consistent guys are the ones that put their teams in position to win games – and then when it’s time for them to win the game, they deliver.
“With Tyrod, he doesn’t have the players around him, especially at the receiver position,” Reed continued. “Nothing against Jordan Matthews and Zay Jones. I think Zay Jones is going to be good in due time, but they had Sammy (Watkins) and they had Robert Woods and they had a couple other good guys and they lost those guys. As Sean (McDermott) would say, hey, next man up. That’s what they have to do. That’s what they have to go with. They got to believe that these guys can make the plays when they’re there.”
Buffalo’s leading receivers are tight end Charles Clay, who has 20 catches for 258 yards and two touchdowns, and McCoy, who has 27 catches for 189 yards.
“They don’t have the big-play guys at the receive position,” Reed said. “Jordan Matthews came from the Eagles and he’s a good receiver. Zay Jones, it’s going to take him another year or two years just to get acclimated to the speed of the game and everything. Some of the other guys that they have, they got to make the plays when they’re there. They don’t have any time to drop a ball when they shouldn’t have. The running game is very vital. We know it’s a passing league, but sooner or later, you got to start trying to beat somebody down upfront and get those linebackers sucked up and you can get behind them.”
Buffalo, which has a bye this week, hosts Tampa Bay (2-2) and Oakland (2-3) in Weeks 7 and 8, respectively. Kickoff for both games is slated for 1 p.m. ET.