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YoloinOhio

Cover 1: The Path to the #1 Defense

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https://www.cover1.net/buffalo-bills-number-one-defense/



Each year, teams set goals for themselves, and Leslie Frazier’s unit’s primary goal in 2018 was to finish as a top-five defensive unit. In his second season as defensive coordinator, Frazier’s defense finished second overall, allowing a stingy 294.1 yards per game. The defense was a mere 1.1 yards/game away from finishing number one overall, and that disappointed many on the defense, including their starting safety. Micah Hyde told BuffaloBills.com that he was “disappointed about that, about number two. Number two is good, but we wanted to finish number one.”

But considering how far they have come and the heights they could reach, Hyde and his teammates may actually have a shot to take the belt for the top defense in 2019. In order to achieve that goal, let’s take a look at how far the defense has come since Frazier took over and what they could improve upon to dethrone the Ravens.

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, YoloinOhio said:

 

 

The Bills defense biggest obstacle to leading the NFL in least yards per game may actually be their own offense not turning the ball over 27 times again and their special teams potentially improving.

 

If those improvements happen they won't lead the NFL in starting field position allowed like they did last year...........meaning more yards to give up between them and the end zone.

 

More QB sacks, better LB coverage and better red zone D.........as mentioned by Cover 1........will make them ACTUALLY be more like their yardage stats imply though.

 

Edited by BADOLBILZ
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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, YoloinOhio said:

Thanks, Yolo!

 

I love the upside Oliver gives our D heading into the next year. And for those thinking our Defense was set sitting at #2, you wouldn't be entirely wrong, but we were still left wanting more along the DL in terms of consistent pass rush and run stoppage. Investing in an already successful defense, regardless of whether they finish first in the league this next year, can only help Allen take the next step in his development. Especially going into his sophomore year - we've set him up pretty well in terms of passing options, and he's had a year to get a feel for the league. But having a stout defense that can keep the score close can only benefit Allen in keeping the pressure off of him, and keep him from reverting to type and make forced errors trying to lessen scoring disparities. 

 

My only hope in regards to Oliver, specifically for this next year, would be to keep it as simple as possible in terms of his role within the defense. Like the article mentions, let him simply create pressure and not have to "read" too much in his first year. Cut him loose, let him develop confidence maximizing what he does best, and slowly begin to integrate him into the overall scheme. I think we see much more impact from an Oliver that isn't asked to do too much in his first year, than we would be from piling on him. I get the argument to this is Edmunds and literally dumping the entire defensive scheme on him in his first year, but I would give Oliver at least his rookie season to do what he does best, and begin to fit that into the DL scheme. 

Edited by ctk232
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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, BADOLBILZ said:

 

 

The Bills defense biggest obstacle to leading the NFL in least yards per game may actually be their own offense not turning the ball over 27 times again and their special teams potentially improving.

 

If those improvements happen they won't lead the NFL in starting field position allowed like they did last year...........meaning more yards to give up between them and the end zone.

 

More QB sacks, better LB coverage and better red zone D.........as mentioned by Cover 1........will make them ACTUALLY be more like their yardage stats imply though.

 

one could easily argue that the excessive turnovers led to the opponent having more chances for more yds..... are we really gonna pretend large amounts of TO's actually HELP the d's yardage totals? that's just sorta lame.

 

IMO, a better pass rush fixes most of the problems the d had last year and would solidify them as a top 5 unit. in theory olivers inside push should help, not only with the lack of interior rush from last year, but it should also improve the edge rush as I doubt qb's will be able to slide up into the pocket to avoid it as easily as they have in the past.

Edited by Stank_Nasty
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The best way to improve the defense is by keeping the offense on the field.  We've made a lot of improvements on that side of the ball this offseason.

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7 minutes ago, Forward Progress said:

The best way to improve the defense is by keeping the offense on the field.  We've made a lot of improvements on that side of the ball this offseason.

 

Agreed, especially if we can put up some points and get a lead, it would play into the strength of our D forcing the opposition to pass more

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Yards is the dumbest measure of a defense. I'd be quite happy top 5 in +/- turnover ratio and somewhere between 15 and 10 in sacks. I don't think we have the pass rushers to be a top 10 sack team. I don't care about yards given up.

Same goes for Allen. I don't care how many 300 yard games he has. I care about TD, INT, and YPA.

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Posted (edited)

The #1 stat for a defense, IMHO, is points allowed per game.

Edited by Peace Frog
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23 minutes ago, Stank_Nasty said:

one could easily argue that the excessive turnovers led to the opponent having more chances for more yds..... are we really gonna pretend large amounts of TO's actually HELP the d's yardage totals? that's just sorta lame.

 

 

I think the point is that with turnovers, the opposing team has less yards to go to score.  That would make sense in isolation.  But you also have to look at yds/play and scoring.

 

Bills were #2 in yards, #3 in yds/play, but middle of the pack in points per game.  The Bills' D also faced the worst average drive start in the league and one of the worst red zone play.

 

Thus, the numbers bear out BADOL's theory.    Bills' D should get statistically worse in 2019, but should be better where it really matters in stopping the opponent.

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2 minutes ago, Peace Frog said:

The #1 stat for a defense, IMHO, is points allowed per game.

Seems logical but I wonder if that is actually true.  First you have to subtract points given up by offense on turnovers and special teams. And just like yards, if you get a lead early the defense may give up garbage yards and points. And since it is an average, it doesn't take into account blowout losses like the Bills have had followed by low scoring games. Giving up 32 one week and 10 the next is not the same as giving up 21 in both games. My guess is statistically you have a better chance of going 2-0 giving up 21 points in each game than 32 in one and 10 in the next. 

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54 minutes ago, BADOLBILZ said:

 

 

The Bills defense biggest obstacle to leading the NFL in least yards per game may actually be their own offense not turning the ball over 27 times again and their special teams potentially improving.

 

If those improvements happen they won't lead the NFL in starting field position allowed like they did last year...........meaning more yards to give up between them and the end zone.

 

More QB sacks, better LB coverage and better red zone D.........as mentioned by Cover 1........will make them ACTUALLY be more like their yardage stats imply though.

 

 

 

Or maybe some run defense...

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35 minutes ago, Ethan in Portland said:

Yards is the dumbest measure of a defense. I'd be quite happy top 5 in +/- turnover ratio and somewhere between 15 and 10 in sacks. I don't think we have the pass rushers to be a top 10 sack team. I don't care about yards given up.

Same goes for Allen. I don't care how many 300 yard games he has. I care about TD, INT, and YPA.

 

30 minutes ago, Peace Frog said:

The #1 stat for a defense, IMHO, is points allowed per game.

It blows my mind how everyone prioritizes yards allowed as if that is a catch all marker of a defense. Is it helpful in assessing performance? Sure, but the scoreboard doesn't reflect yards gained, it reflects points - and on the most basic of levels, it's a defense's literal job to prevent the other team from scoring. In my mind, whichever defense does this the best, regardless of yards allowed, is the top defense in the league. 

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40 minutes ago, Stank_Nasty said:

one could easily argue that the excessive turnovers led to the opponent having more chances for more yds..... are we really gonna pretend large amounts of TO's actually HELP the d's yardage totals? that's just sorta lame.

 

IMO, a better pass rush fixes most of the problems the d had last year and would solidify them as a top 5 unit. in theory olivers inside push should help, not only with the lack of interior rush from last year, but it should also improve the edge rush as I doubt qb's will be able to slide up into the pocket to avoid it as easily as they have in the past.

 

 

Posessions alternate, regardless of how many turnovers you get or give.

 

So you could get 7 turnovers,  doesn't mean you will end up with any more or less posessions than your opponent.

 

The only deciding factor on possession count is the way each half ends.   That's it, that's the math.

 

Now back to the yardage discussion.........the amount of posessions per team, per game is 12 on average. 

 

And yeah.........if you cough up the ball at your own 20 and the other team scores a TD........remember the Bills were one of THE WORST defenses in the redzone.........then you can both allow an easy TD but also keep your team on pace to lead the league in least yards allowed.  

 

In essence this is what happened a lot with the Bills.    Their special teams were terrible and they were among worst at turning the ball over offensively.   As such the defense had to defend a lot of short fields and were skewered in the red zone due to a lack of pass and run pressure and blown out many times.    But the yardage stats were actually helped by allowing opponents to have the best starting field position in the NFL.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, BADOLBILZ said:

 

 

Posessions alternate, regardless of how many turnovers you get or give.

 

So you could get 7 turnovers,  doesn't mean you will end up with any more or less posessions than your opponent.

 

The only deciding factor on possession count is the way each half ends.   That's it, that's the math.

 

Now back to the yardage discussion.........the amount of posessions per team, per game is 12 on average. 

 

And yeah.........if you cough up the ball at your own 20 and the other team scores a TD........remember the Bills were one of THE WORST defenses in the redzone.........then you can both allow an easy TD but also keep your team on pace to lead the league in least yards allowed.  

 

In essence this is what happened a lot with the Bills.    Their special teams were terrible and they were among worst at turning the ball over offensively.   As such the defense had to defend a lot of short fields and were skewered in the red zone due to a lack of pass and run pressure and blown out many times.    But the yardage stats were actually helped by allowing opponents to have the best starting field position in the NFL.

you don't get it I guess. that's fine. I'm not gonna go much further with it. common sense says that if your team can hold onto the ball for longer amounts of time and more sustained drives then your defense doesn't have to deal with as many possessions. this is really simple.... its not hard man. you just don't wanna acknowledge it.

 

its fine. you've had an odd crusade against the defense for months now. advanced stats like DVOA also rank them high. but its your thing. let'r rip.

Edited by Stank_Nasty
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2 minutes ago, BADOLBILZ said:

 

 

Posessions alternate, regardless of how many turnovers you get or give.

 

So you could get 7 turnovers,  doesn't mean you will end up with any more or less posessions than your opponent.

 

The only deciding factor on possession count is the way each half ends.   That's it, that's the math.

 

Now back to the yardage discussion.........the amount of posessions per team, per game is 12 on average. 

 

And yeah.........if you cough up the ball at your own 20 and the other team scores a TD........remember the Bills were one of THE WORST defenses in the redzone.........then you can both allow an easy TD but also keep your team on pace to lead the league in least yards allowed.  

 

In essence this is what happened a lot with the Bills.    Their special teams were terrible and they were among worst at turning the ball over offensively.   As such the defense had to defend a lot of short fields and were skewered in the red zone due to a lack of pass and run pressure and blown out many times.    But the yardage stats were actually helped by allowing opponents to have the best starting field position in the NFL.

Right but if your Offense sucks and goes 3 and out or turns it over some other way that's ending one of the offenses possessions as useless while giving the other team an additional opportunity.

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15 minutes ago, ctk232 said:

 

It blows my mind how everyone prioritizes yards allowed as if that is a catch all marker of a defense. Is it helpful in assessing performance? Sure, but the scoreboard doesn't reflect yards gained, it reflects points - and on the most basic of levels, it's a defense's literal job to prevent the other team from scoring. In my mind, whichever defense does this the best, regardless of yards allowed, is the top defense in the league. 

In defense of those talking about yards, it is the way the NFL ranks defenses. Again I think it is nonsense but it really shouldn't blow your mind becuase that is how defenses are ranked. 

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7 minutes ago, Warcodered said:

Right but if your Offense sucks and goes 3 and out or turns it over some other way that's ending one of the offenses possessions as useless while giving the other team an additional opportunity.

thank you.... if your offense can stay on the field it only makes sense that the other team is gonna have less possessions.

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5 minutes ago, Stank_Nasty said:

you don't get it I guess. that's fine. I'm not gonna go much further with it. common sense says that if your team can hold onto the ball for longer amounts of time and more sustained drives then your defense doesn't have to deal with as many possessions. this is really simple.... its not hard man. you just don't wanna acknowledge it.

 

its fine. you've had an odd crusade against the defense for months now. advanced stats like DVOA also rank them high. but its your thing. let'r rip.

 

To the highlighted.........I promise you that posessions alternate regardless.   It's one thing to not get it the first time.........but I explained it nicely.

 

And holding onto the ball.......TOP............doesn't have any direct correlation to the yardage stat we are discussing here either.

 

Who here remembers SB XXV?    Giants had possession for 40 minutes versus the Bills 20 and yet their yardage totals were nearly identical.

 

So would you say those two defenses played to a draw?:doh:

 

It's not a crusade against the defense it's just a fact that they weren't as good as their yardage stats indicate.

 

They excel when the field is larger because it allows them to use them to execute their defensive gameplan.........specifically their excellent matchup zone work.

 

In the redzone things happen faster and it becomes about playmakers.......specifically guys that can get in the backfield..........which they lacked.

 

That's what the Cover 1 article is saying too...........so are they crusading against the defense?     

 

 

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1 minute ago, BADOLBILZ said:

 

To the highlighted.........I promise you that posessions alternate regardless.   It's one thing to not get it the first time.........but I explained it nicely.

 

And holding onto the ball.......TOP............doesn't have any direct correlation to the yardage stat we are discussing here either.

 

Who here remembers SB XXV?    Giants had possession for 40 minutes versus the Bills 20 and yet their yardage totals were nearly identical.

 

So would you say those two defenses played to a draw?:doh:

 

It's not a crusade against the defense it's just a fact that they weren't as good as their yardage stats indicate.

 

They excel when the field is larger because it allows them to use them to execute their defensive gameplan.........specifically their excellent matchup zone work.

 

In the redzone things happen faster and it becomes about playmakers.......specifically guys that can get in the backfield..........which they lacked.

 

That's what the Cover 1 article is saying too...........so are they crusading against the defense?     

 

 

bolded:

DUH! but our offense didn't score or turned it over!!! moot freaking point! that doesn't change the fact that the bills crappy offense and numerous turnovers didn't contribute to more defensive appearances. it just means the other defense saw the same amount of drives and did better than our defense because our offense BLEW. 

 

I agree. I would have ranked them in the 8-12 range on average.

 

 

no.... I literally said the same thing about oliver helping that out and that's what they were missing.

 

 

 

in closing, I don't think we are that far off from one another but your turnover argument is silly IMO.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ethan in Portland said:

Yards is the dumbest measure of a defense. I'd be quite happy top 5 in +/- turnover ratio and somewhere between 15 and 10 in sacks. I don't think we have the pass rushers to be a top 10 sack team. I don't care about yards given up.

Same goes for Allen. I don't care how many 300 yard games he has. I care about TD, INT, and YPA.

 

I despise the yardage metric. Rex hid lousey teams behind it for years. Let’s talk points allowed. 300 yards a game can very well yield 5 TD per game. Is 35 point allowed per game a winning defense? 

Edited by Over 29 years of fanhood

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Over 29 years of fanhood said:

 

I despise the yardage metric. Rex hid lousey teams behind it for years. Let’s talk points allowed. 300 yards a game can very well yield 5 TD per game. Is 35 point allowed per game a winning defense? 

I agree.... so my next question would be, does the bills defense only finish 19th in points allowed if they aren't top 5 in offensive to's? 

Edited by Stank_Nasty

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17 minutes ago, Warcodered said:

Right but if your Offense sucks and goes 3 and out or turns it over some other way that's ending one of the offenses possessions as useless while giving the other team an additional opportunity.

 

 

You are going to average 12 posessions per game no matter how you slice it.

 

If your offense goes 3 and out every time and punts the ball to midfield then your defense only has about 50 yards to defend.

 

If they allow 20 yards and a field goal that's a successful stop in the yardage world.

 

Do that 12 times per game all season and you will have easily the stingiest yardage defense in the NFL and also allow 36 points per game.

 

Obviously that is exaggeration for effect,  point is,  yardage allowed is a nice stat but it can and is misleading.  

 

In the Bills case it is.    

 

It amazes me that after all the blowouts we saw last year that people thought that defense passed the eyeball test as one of the greatest defenses in Bills history..........which a top 2 unit would indicate it was.

 

They were good.   They did a lot with what they had.    They need more talent up front.   Hopefully Oliver helps A LOT and Murphy comes back healthy and Shaq and the two Phillips have career years.  That is what the defense needs.   That and better MLB play.    All possible things that are reasonable to expect the Bills to make happen, IMO.

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They were good not great and bad in the red zone. Think they'll be better this year.

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1 hour ago, Forward Progress said:

The best way to improve the defense is by keeping the offense on the field.  We've made a lot of improvements on that side of the ball this offseason.

I agree with this! Plus, having a decent run game that can move the chains or one that usually leaves the 3rd down distance shorter than five yards is a big help.

 

A strong run game will also help the defense by staying on the field each drive to ultimately score. Thus leaving the defense on the bench opposed to being on the field.  Believe it or not Buffalo was 13th in ToP in 2018 and was 30th in 2017.

 

Also, the QB shouldn't be the leading rusher like Josh Allen was last season nor should the RB be the leading receiver like Shady was in 2017.  The Bills threw deep last season more than any other NFL team and it's top two receivers missed on 85 targets between them. This should change now that Kelvin Benjamin is gone along with his 37% catch percentage. 

 

That greatly improved offensive line should not only help the run game in yard per carry and touchdowns. It should also help that QB who loves to throw deep be able to have more time in the pocket to throw deep. 

 

My only areas of concern for the 2019 Buffalo Bills defense is pass rush, stopping the run. The Bills had the #1 pass defense last season.

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Posted (edited)

More or less agree, but part of that equation is teams ran on us a lot because bad rush defense. That helps pass defense numbers. Oliver is very good at stopping the run, btw.

Edited by Dr. Who

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