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Super Bowl 50

Sun, Feb 7, 2016

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Bills aim to run NFL's fastest offense

By Larry Hartstein | Senior Analyst

Buffalo played fast in 2013, but offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett says it wasn't fast enough.

The Bills and Chip Kelly's Eagles were the only teams to average fewer than 24 seconds per play. The Bills averaged 23.95 seconds, the Eagles 23.38.

So although the Bills ranked 29th in yards per play (4.8), they still finished third in offensive snaps (69.8 per game), trailing only Denver (72.1) and New England (70.4).

Buffalo ran 334 no-huddle plays, behind only the Eagles, Broncos and Ravens, per NFLSavant.com.

"We should have run more (plays)," Hackett told the Buffalo News. "We look back at last year, and those first four games when [quarterback] EJ Manuel had a lot of run going on, it was awesome," Hackett said. "We were really rolling. It's funny. You look back on it and as the season went on, with the changes we had at that position, it slowed down.

"The better we get, the more we have of the understanding of the offense, the faster we can go."

Manuel was knocked out with a knee injury Week 5 and and ended up missing six more games. Hackett told the paper Manuel has a much better grasp of the offense in Year 2.

"It's so much more fun now," Hackett said. "Not having him as a first-year guy where you sit there and say a word to him and he goes, ‘What is that? OK, that's what it is, now I go run that.' Now it comes natural to him, and he can go play football. He can understand what's happening to him, he can understand where he should go with the ball. So his advancement is growing rapidly, just even in the first couple days of practice."

Manuel is not even a QB2, but if he can stay healthy the Bills could lead the league in offensive snaps. That's potentially good news for running back C.J. Spiller and wideout Sammy Watkins, Buffalo's most viable Fantasy players.

Jamey Eisenberg ranks Spiller 17th among RBs, while Dave Richard has Spiller 20th. Richard ranks Watkins 33rd among WRs, while Eisenberg has Watkins 36th.

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