Did the Bills fix their offensive woes against Tampa?

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Consistency has eluded the Buffalo Bills' offense over the first eight games of the season.

In the 24-18 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night, the team adjusted its approach to fix the slow starts that caused headaches in the first halves of the previous three games. The passing game got hot quickly, with the Bills racking up 146 total yards in the first quarter -- the second-most yards for the team in an opening quarter over the past three seasons.

Coach Sean McDermott described the performance as "what I'm used to seeing" and said it was "fun to watch" the offense.

Quarterback Josh Allen "looked very comfortable. The offense looked very comfortable," McDermott said. "Probably the first time other than maybe in episodes of the Raiders game and then again [against] Miami, where it just looked like it was every play wasn't an adventure, every play wasn't just -- there looked like there was some easy plays, I guess I should say."

The offense will try to find that elusive consistency and keep the positive trends from Thursday night going after the mini-bye when Buffalo faces the Cincinnati Bengals (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC) on Nov. 5. With the decisive, up-tempo offense Thursday, Allen was able to guide the unit up and down the field with plays that featured minimal substitutions and gave players with the ball a chance to shine -- from Allen with his legs to the team's wide receivers.

"This team moves really well when I'm able to get the ball around to our playmakers," Allen said. "I thought guys did a great job with the ball in their hand making some [runs after catch]."

What can the Bills take from this performance going forward?

To Allen's point, the game featured the second-highest yards after catch for the team this season (154), sitting just between the games against the Dolphins and Raiders. The bulk of that production came from wide receivers Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis and Khalil Shakir and rookie tight end Dalton Kincaid.

Diggs and Davis played 99% of the offensive plays, while Kincaid, the team's only tight end for the game, played 84%, and second-year receiver Shakir saw 65% of the snaps -- way ahead of free agent additions Trent Sherfield (32%) and Deonte Harty (9%). On their first possession of the game -- a 10-play, 77-yard drive that ended in a field goal -- the Bills made only a substitution at running back. They committed to sticking with what had worked, and with tight ends Dawson Knox and Quintin Morris out, that meant the highest number of plays in 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE) this season (51).

"That's the offense we can run, and it's the best way to run it," Davis said on the performance. "We've been talking about it for ... a couple weeks, keeping it simple. And that's what we did."

Keeping those players on the field worked well, with four different Bills catching at least five passes for 50 receiving yards, tied for the most players to do that in a game in franchise history (last done in 2011). Shakir had a career day with highs in receptions (six) and receiving yards (92), while Davis had a career-high nine receptions and Kincaid caught his first career touchdown pass. While Diggs' receiving numbers weren't high by his standards (nine catches, 70 yards) against the Buccaneers, he was still integrated in the offense.

"Josh did a great job of just working the progressions," offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey said. "And I think as a playcaller taking the pressure off, 'Hey let's get this guy and the ball going. Let's get this guy going,' and just trusting the fact that they'll get going through the natural flow of the game."

Having three wide receivers on the field for 45 of Allen's 46 dropbacks appeared to bring out the best in him as well. Previously this season, the Bills had three receivers on the field for 57% of dropbacks. Per NFL Next Gen Stats, Allen's QBR was 90 on those plays against the Buccaneers compared to 69 in the first seven games of the season.

Another positive development for the offense was the speed in which Allen got the ball out. He released the ball in an average of 2.27 seconds, per NFL Next Gen Stats, the fastest of his career. That could explain why Allen's pressure percentage decreased from 38% in the previous three games to 24%.

The Bucs' defense also had to defend against Allen the runner, something the Bills have limited in an effort to keep him healthier. (Allen did go in the medical tent at one point but didn't miss a snap.) Allen had seven carries for 41 yards and a touchdown, tying his season high in rushing attempts and his second-most rushing yards. He came into the game averaging 4.1 carries per game (down from 7.8 last season) and 21.1 rushing yards per game.

"Hey, Josh is a unique football player," Dorsey said. "And he's extremely obviously talented as a passer and explosive as a runner. So, I just feel like to be able to let him go ahead and utilize those traits is great for us."

The Bills' offense did slow down late in the game, taking a more "cautious" approach as McDermott called it. They finished the game with four drives ending in punts, and the Buccaneers worked their way back into the game on a 17-play, eight-point drive.

"I think there was a couple of fourth-and-2 situations, but to that point they hadn't really done much offensively, and I was not about to give a team that has not shown that they can drive the field on us at this point a short field when it's a two-score game," McDermott said.

Spreading the ball around was a positive sign for the offense to build upon before games against some tough defenses over the next month.

"I think when you're playing good team offense, the ball is spread around, not intentionally, but the ball finds the open receiver or the open tight end. And that's when we're at our best," McDermott said.