The numbers you need to know when the first-place Buffalo Bills meet the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday.
138.1: Andy Dalton’s passer rating over the last two weeks
Bill Lazor’s tenure as Bengals’ offensive coordinator has the Red Rifle rejuvenated so far. In two games combined, Andy Dalton has completed 80 percent of his passes (46-of-57) for 498 yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Lazor has also played to Dalton’s strengths as a quarterback. Short, quick passes, with simplified reads, screens and setting receivers up to do damage after the catch.
43: Consecutive drives for the Bills’ offense without a turnover
Buffalo’s first drive of the season went 67 yards over 13 plays but ended with a Tyrod Taylor red-zone interception that should’ve been a 106-yard pick-six (Jets’ corner Juston Burris ran into his own man after a 48-yard return).
Buffalo has not turned the ball over since, covering 43 drives over a 3-1 start. Taylor has completed 65.7 percent of his passes (7th in the conference) and the Bills own the league’s second-best turnover differential at a plus-6.
Handling a large workload, LeSean McCoy is reliable at covering up the pigskin. The five-time Pro-Bowl running back hasn’t lost a fumble since October 2015.
A solid kicker has been beneficial to Buffalo, too. Last week in an upset over Atlanta, the Bills needed just 35 yards of offense on nine plays to set up Stephen Hauschka’s pair of fourth-quarter 50-yarders that proved to be the difference in a 23-17 final.
Ending drives in an extra point, field goal or a punt will usually keep you in any game. The Bengals found that out in week one, when they turned the ball over five times and were blanked by division-rival Baltimore 20-0. The next week, Cincinnati turned the ball over just once in a four-point loss to Houston.
22.3: Touches per game average for LeSean McCoy
It’s no secret that coordinator Rick Dennison’s offense revolves around ‘Shady’ McCoy. Through four games, he’s averaging over 20 touches per game as the team’s leading rusher and receiver (21 catches).
One of the most elusive runners in the NFL, McCoy has struggled to find real estate out of the backfield this season. At 3.2 yards per carry, McCoy is on pace to fall short of a 1,000-yard campaign for just the second time since 2013. McCoy has never averaged less than 4.1 yards per attempt.
In two games against Cincinnati, McCoy is totaling 5.6 YPC with a rushing score in each.
71: Combined snaps for Andre Smith at left tackle the last two games
Many sighed in March when the Bengals brought 2009 first-round tackle Andre Smith. There were talks he’d try his hand at guard. However, through the last two games, he’s cemented himself into playing time at left tackle.
Last week in Cleveland, Smith made his first career start protecting the blind side. He was in a three-man rotation at tackle with Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher. The Alabama product saw snaps at right tackle, too.
Now healthy – a season-ending triceps injury kept him out of 12 games with Minnesota in 2016– Smith could be some semblance of an answer for the Bengals’ O-line.
The Bills travel west to Cincinnati with a defense that sits in a five-way tie for fourth-most sacks in the NFL with 11.
4-0: Bengals’ record with orange-jersey/black-pants combo
The Bengals will wear their orange jerseys and black pants against Buffalo.
With orange tops, Cincinnati is 19-6-1 and 4-0 when those jerseys are combined with black pants. Here’s a summary of the undefeated reign of the orange and black ensemble.
11/7/2004: Cincinnati 26, Dallas 3
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Three first-half field goals by Shayne Graham and Matt Schobel’s 76-yard touchdown catch led the Bengals over Bill Parcells’ Cowboys at Paul Brown Stadium. Carson Palmer’s first NFL rushing touchdown – a two-yard score with 2:20 left in the game – sealed the win for.
11/28/04: Cincinnati 58, Cleveland 48
The ‘Battle of Ohio’ featured nearly 1,000 yards of total offense, but it was Deltha O’Neal’s 31-yard pick-six off Kelly Holcomb with 1:43 remaining that moved the ’04 Bengals to a 5-6 record. Palmer threw four touchdowns and Rudi Johnson ran for a career-high 202 yards and two scores.
The game remains the second-highest scoring in NFL history. It trails
only Washington’s 72-41 win over the New York Giants in 1966.
The loss forced the resignation of Browns’ head coach Butch Davis. He compiled a 24-36 record in four seasons with Cleveland.
12/11/2005: Cincinnati 23, Cleveland 20
Rudi Johnson’s 26 rushing yards and Leigh Bodden’s two defensive penalties led the Bengals on a game-winning drive, culminated by Shayne Graham’s 37-yard field goal as time expired. The win brought Cincinnati one win away from its first division title in 15 years, which they would capture one week later in Detroit.
12/4/16: Cincinnati 32, Philadelphia 14
Wearing the combo for the first time in nearly 11 years, the Bengals dominated the visiting Eagles behind Andy Dalton’s 332-yard, two-touchdown performance and Vontaze Burfict’s two interceptions.