FORWARD PROGRESS
Bills Digest|November 15, 2020
Bills control AFC East at season's halfway point
MARK LUDWICZAK

Through eight weeks, the 2020 season hasbeen both fascinating and entertaining forthe Buffalo Bills. There’s been highs (the hot start out of the gates), and lows (the ensuing fall) and no shortage of news both on and off the field.

The Bills remain in a strong position moving forward considering their direct competition in the AFC East, though a difficult schedule appears to only become more daunting over the next several weeks.

With eight more games left to go, here’s our annual look at the most noteworthy developments from the first half of the season. All statistics are through Week 7.

THE HOT START

Through the first four weeks of the season, the Bills appeared to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender. While they’ve fallen a bit since then, their sprint through the month of September was a sight to see.

Buffalo opened up 4-0 for the first time since 2008 and only the ninth time in team history. Buffalo had 30 or more points in three straight games for the first time in 2011. Stefon Diggs had an instant impact after coming over from Minnesota, becoming the first Bills receiver since Eric Moulds with 26 or more receptions and 400 or more receiving yards through four weeks. And, of course, it was all led by Josh Allen, who for a little while looked like a potential MVP candidate.

The offense has cooled since then, which partially was to be expected. But it remains the strength of the team heading into the second half of the season

ALLEN IS THE REAL DEAL

While Buffalo’s offense has been unable to maintain its breakneck pace from the first four weeks of the year, it remains clear that Josh Allen has taken his game to a whole new level in his third professional season.

Through seven games, Allen had thrown for 2,018 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions for a quarterback rating of 105. He’s on pace to smash previous career highs from last season (3,089 yards, 20 touchdowns, nine interceptions, 85.3 quarterback rating) in every category imaginable. He became the first quarterback in NFL history with 1,300 or more passing yards, 12 or more passing touchdowns and three rushing touchdowns through four games. He was the first Bills QB since Joe Ferguson to top a 100 passer rating in four straight games, and had the third-best start to a season in Bills history with passer yardage (1,326 yards, behind only Drew Bledsoe in 2002 and Jim Kelly in 1991).

When you look a little more closely at Allen’s evolution as a passer, his development and growth is even more impressive.

Through seven games, Allen had only one truly poor performance (against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6), and he even ended up with respectable stats in that one (14 of 27, 122 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, and the Bills had a chance to win it late in the fourth quarter). It’s also worth noting that with all of Buffalo’s struggles on the defensive side of the ball against the Chiefs, the offense only had the ball for 22:15.

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