Getting the drop on Bills receivers


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Chris in Rochester, N.Y., writes: Tim, I'm wondering about the ratio of targeted passes to dropped passes for T.O and Robert Royal. granted that they may end up with a worse starting tight end, and more targets for TO ultimately leads to fewer catches made throughout the season...But TO's occasional pass drop might not be too bad if we arent throwing the ball to royal anymore.

Thanks for writing, Chris. Your question persuaded me to check into the number of dropped passes for each AFC East team. I will be posting rundowns throughout the morning.

Dropped passes aren't an official stat, but Elias Sports Bureau tracks them. Elias uses a common-sense analysis that asks "should the receiver have caught the ball?" If there's any doubt among Elias analysts, the player isn't charged with a drop.

The Buffalo Bills dropped 7.5 percent of their catchable passes, second-highest in the AFC East behind the New England Patriots at 7.9 percent.

Among regulars, Royal did have Buffalo's highest percentage of botched passes with seven drops and 33 receptions. Royal failed to catch 17.5 percent of the passes he should have caught.

Running back Marshawn Lynch also had seven drops, but he caught 47 passes, putting his drop rate at 13 percent.

Terrell Owens had nine drops and 69 receptions last year for the Dallas Cowboys. That's an 11.5 drop percentage.

Buffalo's most reliable target was receiver Josh Reed. He didn't drop any passes, and his 56 receptions were second on the team. Leading receiver Lee Evans had 63 receptions, and he could have had only two more, giving him a 3.1 drop percentage.