Let's lead with an understatement: the Bills are a good football team. They're officially 2nd in our power rankings, aka the unquestioned, universal truth for ranking NFL teams. However, I view them as essentially tied with the Bucs for the top spot -- I basically elected to keep Tampa Bay at 1 since they were there the previous week, and I'm too lazy to switch them. 92% of cash (82% of tickets) is on the Bills covering, meaning we are heavily aligned with Vegas, which is the exact spot I like to be in.
Josh Allen is 14th in PFF passing grades (80.0), completing 65.7% of his passes (1.4% above expectation) and gaining 7.3 yards per attempt. He has a healthy 17:3 TD:INT ratio, however, he has 10 turnover worthy plays, a sign that he's been getting lucky in the turnover department. Allen's aDOT of 9.6 is tied for 2nd in the league, and his time to throw of 2.8 is 15th slowest. That leads to him being under pressure a fair amount -- 36% of the time, to be exact, which is 11th highest in the league. It's a situation he's comfortable with and handles well, his 76.6 grade under pressure is 2nd highest in the league. He's also an effective runner -- 269 yards on the ground is 3rd among all QBs, and his 5.2 average yards per carry is 6th. His top receivers by projected targets: Stef Diggs, Cole Beasley, and Emmanuel Sanders. Beasley typically operates out of the slot, with Sanders handling the deeper routes and Diggs handling the intermediate routes -- though Diggs is a jack of all trades, can line up anywhere and run any route. On the ground, Zack Moss and Devin Singletary typically split carries, with Moss and Allen being the preferred goal line options. The offensive line will be without LG Jon Feliciano (calf), which brings Ike Boettger into the starting lineup, though I would say that both players are equally bad. The tackle spots are the strength of the line, though that isn't saying much. It's certainly a line that can be beat, it's just that the quarterback is very good at dealing with pressure. Overall, the offense is 1st in DVOA -- 1st against the run, and 5th against the pass. The defense is a much more modest 11th in DVOA, though they are 1st in EPA/play. They've faced the easiest schedule of opposing offenses, which typically explains differences between DVOA and EPA, since EPA isn't adjusted for the opponent. Their pressure rate of 31.7% is best in the league -- though a look at the edge rushers tells a story that this might be affected by their easy schedule. Jerry Hughes (24 pressures) leads the way, followed by Gregory Rousseau (16), Mario Addison (16), and AJ Epenesa (14). Hughes is exceptional, but the rest of the line is much more modest rushing the passer. Tre'Davious White, typically one of the top corners in football, is just 54th out of 130 qualifiers in PFF grades. He's 100th in snaps/target, 40th in snaps/reception, and 6th in total penalties committed. Taron Johnson has been great in the slot, and Micah Hyde/Jordan Poyer are an excellent safety tandem. LB Matt Milano is also worth highlighting, he's playing well in all facets of the defense. Despite White's struggles, there's more than enough talent to make up for it, and he probably won't play this poorly long term.
Trevor Lawrence, much like all rookie QBs not named Mac Jones, has struggled. He's 31st of 35 qualifiers in PFF passing grades (57.3) and has completed just 59.6% of his passes (4.5% below expectation) while gaining 6.3 yards per attempt. He was plagued by turnover worthy plays to start the season, throwing 3 in each of his first 3 games, but has thrown just 3 in his last 4 games combined. We see the big play potential that led to him going 1st overall in the draft, but the timing/accuracy isn't there yet. He's been under pressure 35.9% of the time, which is 13th most in the league, and his passing grade under pressure is 24th in the league. Time will tell if Lawrence can work things out and improve. The top receivers by projected targets: Marvin Jones Jr, Laviska Shenault, TE Dale Arnold, and Jamal Agnew. None of the receivers stand out in either direction -- I'd classify each as aggressively average. Agnew and Shenault will handle most of the slot reps with Jones working the deeper routes. The offensive line is mediocre at best -- outside of LG Andrew Norwell, any of the 4 are capable of disaster games. On the ground, James Robinson (heel) is questionable. If he can't go, Carlos Hyde will have an increase in workload. The offense overall is 24th in DVOA. The defense, somehow, is even worse, ranking dead last in DVOA. Their pass rush, led by Josh Allen (25 pressures) and Dawuane Smoot (also 25) is the strongest point of the unit. The corners and linebackers have all been terrible with average safety play.