Where have all the receivers gone?
So three games into the season and we stand at 1-2 I'll take it. Not ideal but given the beginning part of the season and strength of schedule and the predictions not a bad start. Allen is now starting and Shady was hurt last week so to beat the Vikings at home was quite impressive. However, where have all the receivers gone? The current leader in receptions for the season right now after 3 games is Michael Thomas of the Saints with 38 receptions for 398 yards. As an entire team we have 44 receptions for 539 yards. The players with the most receptions are Zay Jones and Kelvin Benjamin. How many receptions do they have? 6 yes, you heard that right 6 a piece. Jones has 106 yards and Benjamin has a whopping 58 yards. The Bills wide receiving corps are last in the NFL with 21 receptions for 250 yards and 1 touchdown.
There is plenty of excuses that can be made. The offensive line is currently sub-par, we can't run the ball so defenses are applying more pressure on the QB, Peterman was QB briefly and was less the stellar, and on and on. However, this is just unacceptable. Jones was a second round pick at number 37 in 2017, and Benjamin was a first round pick granted back in 2014 but was quite reliable for Cam Newton and the Panthers. Now, Jones I think has been better as he has his 6 receptions on 10 targets but that is far from great, but Benjamin has 6 receptions on 15 targets. Even worse are the drops that Benjamin has been making. Most of the throws are certainly catch-able but he just hasn't been able to haul them in. 2 drops that Benjamin had would have been touchdowns which really hurts. Currently Benjamin is ranked 3rd in the NFL with drops per target at a rate of 14.3%.
The Bills did make some attempt to assist the receivers in trading for Corey Coleman from the Browns. Coleman was the 15th pick overall out of Baylor in the 2016 draft. However, nothing ever materialized with him and he was later cut from the team. He was then picked up by the Patriots and was just released a few hours ago from their practice squad. Quite a fall from grace for a former first round pick. We have what we believe may be our franchise QB but we have to give him some reliable options to throw to. Now granted Allen needs to throw the ball for the receivers to have an opportunity to catch it. But, the problem is when it is thrown it's not being caught either.
Allen has already started to show the athletic talent that he has but he has been unable to really stretch the field so far. Part of that is the offensive line and part is the quality of receivers. Most teams have at least one big play or reliable receiver we have none currently in my opinion. With Shady hopefully coming back from injury to play tomorrow this should allow us to spread the field more I hope. But, the Bills need to find other receiving options. Benjamin is struggling and Jones still isn't living up to the 2nd round pick status I hoped he would. We still have plenty of games left but we are incredibly thin at wide receiver talent and need to find some answers for the problem and quick. What we want to know is where have all the receivers gone?
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