Bills: Harvin brings an X-Factor

| 2 years ago

Bills: Harvin brings an X-Factor

PFF-headlinesIt may be something of a broken record at this point, but Percy Harvin brings the kind of unique skill set to Buffalo that can stress a defense like few other players. Too much gets made of his versatility to line up as a wide receiver, or in the backfield as a running back, and not enough about what exactly makes him such a troublesome weapon for a defense to neutralize – his immediacy, burst and acceleration.

Harvin primarily gets the ball either on a handoff or via quick passes. That isn’t particularly rare in today’s NFL, but what he does after getting the ball in his hands is – there is no thinking time, and zero hesitation. Harvin turns and instantly bursts to space, changing angles for defenders who are used to offensive players sizing them up before trying to beat them. Harvin’s acceleration and playmaking ability can create holes that other players can’t, and if nothing else, he maximizes yards after the catch in ways most players don’t.

In that respect he possesses a similar value to that carried by Wes Welker for years in New England. Harvin operates in slightly different ways to Welker, but the benefit to an offense is the same. Buffalo already have deep threats and big play weapons at receiver, such as Sammy Watkins; and have added some real firepower to their backfield with the trade for LeSean McCoy; but Harvin brings an x-factor to the team that needs to be respected.

All this of course is if, and it is a major ‘if’ at this point, he can keep himself both on the field, and out of trouble with his teammates and coaches, something that has blighted his career and helps explain why he is now with his fourth team in as many seasons.

| Senior Analyst

Sam is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus, as well as a contributor to ESPN and NBCSports.

  • Frank Cole

    I think we will see that Matt Cassel is a lot better than Kyle Orton was. He won’t throw for 50 TD’s but 32-35 is not out of the question. That’s a dozen for Watkins and Harvin with a sprinkling to the other pass catchers. The Bills only averaged 21 points per game with Orton/Manual but should be closer to 28 this year,

    • Joe Devlin

      Frank Cole- I agree, and I think we’ll only need to score about 16 or 17 per game as that’s how FEW our D will be allowing every week on average.

  • dustinolinsr

    do not forget woody

  • Gerald2558


  • SeattleGuy

    Harvin brought an “X” factor to the Seahawks as well. As in shall I play or shall I not.

  • pavihe

    I believe Ryan & Roman will platoon QB’s. It fits their “One Vision” (philosophy) of confuse and deceive. Rex said, “We’re going to have in our arsenal the ability to do anything. As an opponent, you’ve got to prepare for everything because, if not, I’m going to find out what you’re not prepared for and I’ll attack you appropriately.”
    What makes a platoon system feasible for the Bills is the depth at the skill positions. The Bills can platoon a whole squad of receivers, RB’s & a TE. The squads can practice individually to develop timing and execution. Will Indy be prepared when Cassell, McCoy, Watkins, RWoods and Clay are subbed with EJ or Tyrod, w/Karlos Williams, Goodwin, Harvin and O’Leary running a zone read, Wildcat or a reverse? Future opponents will find it hard to properly prepare their game plan against the variety of players and plays the Bill’s can throw at them.