Brian Daboll makes trick plays part of Buffalo Bills' creative attack

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- You can call the Buffalo Bills' offense a lot of things, but predictable isn't one of them.

Under offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, anyone is a threat to be on either end of a passing touchdown. He put that creativity on display once again in Week 12.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen sent wide receiver Cole Beasley in motion on second-and-8 from the Chargers' 20-yard line during the first quarter of Sunday's 27-17 win. Allen threw the ball to Beasley behind the line of scrimmage and stood by as Beasley lofted a pass to a wide-open Gabriel Davis in the end zone.

It was the first pass attempt for Beasley, a high school quarterback, since his prep career, but the play was far from the first time the Bills have employed a little trickery to keep defenses on their toes.

"I think it's just the timing in which he calls them," Beasley said. "[Daboll] has done a good job of mixing it up, and he does a good job of keeping them off-balance, and that was one of those times right there."

Since Daboll took over the Bills' offense in 2018, Buffalo skill players have thrown for four touchdowns, tying the Miami Dolphins for most in the NFL in that span.

Bills receiver John Brown threw a touchdown pass to running back Devin Singletary against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day in 2019 and another to Allen during last season's playoff game against the Houston Texans. Receiver Isaiah McKenzie threw a touchdown pass to Allen against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10. The Beasley-to-Davis play came in the first game after the Bills' Week 11 bye week.

"I think it's aggressive, which, I like the mentality," Bills coach Sean McDermott said. "It's creative. We're using our players to their strengths. Cole's done that before in his career and has some quarterback in his prior history. It goes back to trusting our players to execute at a high level, and that's what you see when you look at a play like that."

The trickery isn't limited to skill players.

Buffalo regularly rolls out a goal-line package with an offensive lineman as an eligible receiver. Defenses have to respect the designation because left tackle Dion Dawkins has two touchdown receptions since 2018, which ties him for sixth most by an offensive lineman since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.

The foundation for those plays' success is sometimes laid weeks in advance.

"Some of them are 'check with me' plays that you only want versus a certain look," Daboll said. "The Cole play that he threw yesterday, that was a 'check with me' play. We had it called against Arizona in kind of the same area, and they gave us a different coverage -- and Cole scored on that one, too. It's been a good play for us over the past few weeks."

Buffalo's next chance to unleash some trickery will come Monday against the San Francisco 49ers (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN). Daboll said the Bills will probably shelf the play that has netted them two touchdowns, now that both variations of it are out of the bag. But based on his history, don't expect him to keep his bag of tricks completely shut.