Let's take a quick pre-game look at how the Broncos and Bills match up:
As always, an explanation of the figures:
- NY/A Differential: This is a marriage of PFR's NY/A (Net Yards per Attempt) and CHFF's Passer Rating Differential. NY/A takes the all-important Yards Per Attempt and adds sack data into the mix to provide a clearer picture of a passing game's impact. NY/A Differential is simply a team's NY/A minus the NY/A they've allowed on defense. In other words, how well Denver passes the ball minus how well they defend against the pass.
- ARY/A Differential: This is a team's efficiency rushing the football minus the efficiency of their defense in stopping the run, and it factors touchdowns in to provide a better measure than a simple Yards Per Attempt stat. Well, for now - we'll likely change this next week, as mentioned above.
- TO Differential: Takeaways minus giveaways. If you need help with this one, you must be a Raiders fan and probably refer to this as a ratio.
- Net Field Position: This is a team's average starting field position in terms of yards, minus the average starting field position they allow their opponents.
- Strength of Schedule: This is each team's strength of schedule as viewed through the prism of PFR's SRS (Simple Rating System).
The Bills are pretty poor on defense against both the pass (6.95 NY/A) and the run (5.56 ARY/A).
Although they're flat in terms of turnover differential, as Ted pointed out most of that is thanks to the fact that their defense notched 18 takeaways during their 5-2 start, against just nine giveaways. In the seven games since that torrid start (all losses), the Bills offense has turned it over a whopping 17 times while the defense has only managed eight takeaways. Buffalo has only won the turnover battle only one time in their previous nine games, although last week they were even in terms of turnover differential for the first time since their last win.
Denver has a significant edge in terms of field position, as the Bills have allowed opponents to start at their own 30-yard line on average, and they allow a whopping 11.7-yard average on punt returns, which of course has been an area of notable strength for the Broncos (13 yards per return).
Like Ted wrote yesterday, I think the Broncos should win today, unless they lose the turnover battle (which they've done for each of the past two weeks).