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Bills are good on third and short; it's red zone that's the issue

By Mark Gaughan

The Buffalo Bills have had two ill-timed failures in short-yardage situations this season.

They failed near the goal-line in the loss to Cincinnati and they saw Kansas City return an interception 100 yards for a touchdown last Sunday. The Bills rank 31st in the red zone, a trend highlighted in a story by Jay Skurski in today's Buffalo News.

Overall, however, the Bills short-yardage performance is better than many suspect. Buffalo ranks eighth in the NFL on percentage of conversions on third and 1 or 2, at 68.5 percent. The Bills have converted 24 of 35 in those situations.

On running plays in situations of third and 1 or 2, the Bills are tied for ninth best in the NFL, with a conversion percentage of 75.0 -- converting 15 of 20 run plays. 

In the red zone (inside the opposition's 20), the Bills have converted 5 of 8 plays of third and 1 or 2.

So the problem for Buffalo is the red zone more than overall short-yardage situations.

The teams with the best percentages overall on third and 1 or 2:

1. Washington 77.7. 2. Philadelphia 75.0. 3. Houston 73.6. 4. San Francisco 73.0. 5. Cincinnati 72.7.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |