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Bills used 21 personnel more than any other team in the league in week 1

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Per Warren Sharp from Sharpfootballanalysis.com, the Bills used 21 personnel (2 running backs, 1 tight end, 2 wide receivers) more than any other team in the league in week 1, as shown on the chart below. 

As has already been discussed here and elsewhere, the plan seems to be to come out in 21 personnel and then, based on what the defense presents, either line up in a classic pro set and run the ball, or flex to a spread or bunch formation of some sort and throw it. This stresses the defense and forces them to choose whether or not to stay in base defense. In other words, it's what the Patriots have been doing for years now. We all already saw this with our own eyes in week 1, but this chart backs up the idea:

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Note: The Bills were ALSO one of the five teams with the highest number of pass plays in week 1. That may not be the case every week going forward, but it sure is a breath of fresh air. Modern NFL offense being run by the BILLS?! Hallelujah!

**EDIT** . If the link above doesn't work for anyone, the graphic can be found in the following Tweet:
 

 

Edited by Logic
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The Bills seem to quietly be very happy with the TE situation.  Sweeney may turn into the steal of the draft.  That is saying a ton because you also be saying the same thing about Oliver or Singletary (maybe even Ford) by the end of the season.  The early whiff says this may be one of the best draft classes ever.

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If they are going to use 21 personnel so much I would like to see them put Yeldon in as the 2nd back instead of DiMarco and if they shift into a passing play have Yeldon or Singletary splitting out in a WR slot instead of DiMarco. 

 

 

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Duke Williams has the size to be a decent blocker in 21, not sure why he's not a better option than DiMarco in 21

.

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15 minutes ago, jwhit34 said:

If they are going to use 21 personnel so much I would like to see them put Yeldon in as the 2nd back instead of DiMarco and if they shift into a passing play have Yeldon or Singletary splitting out in a WR slot instead of DiMarco. 

 

 


The problem with that plan is that if the defense comes out in nickel or dime, the Bills would line up in a pro set and run the ball. Unless Yeldon learned how to play fullback and I missed it, that doesn't really work. I suppose you could have them in a shotgun or pistol split backs formation, but again, you're taking away a lead blocker.

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11 minutes ago, Logic said:


The problem with that plan is that if the defense comes out in nickel or dime, the Bills would line up in a pro set and run the ball. Unless Yeldon learned how to play fullback and I missed it, that doesn't really work. I suppose you could have them in a shotgun or pistol split backs formation, but again, you're taking away a lead blocker.

 

As has been discussed before, wonder if eventually Sweeney replaces DiMarco as the h-Back.  Could happen when Kroft returns or when the rooks are more comfortable?

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Only thing I know is identifying offensive personnel groupings numerically is already my least favorite 2019 NFL trope

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13 minutes ago, GG said:

 

As has been discussed before, wonder if eventually Sweeney replaces DiMarco as the h-Back.  Could happen when Kroft returns or when the rooks are more comfortable?


I understand the notion that Sweeney offers more in the passing game than DiMarco. In my opinion, though, that is offset by the fact that DiMarco offers more in the run game. Could Sweeney be just as good of a lead blocker as DiMarco? Maybe. We haven't seen evidence that he CAN'T do it, necessarily, but we also haven't seen evidence that he can. 

At the end of the day, I am always reminded that Daboll's offense is essentially the Patriots offense. The Patriots offense has always featured a fullback, not an H-Back. I tend to think that Daboll will continue to follow that blueprint. 

2 minutes ago, GoBills808 said:

Only thing I know is identifying offensive personnel groupings numerically is already my least favorite 2019 NFL trope


Offensive personnel groupings have been identified numerically for many years.

Sorry you're late to the table and that it bugs you for some reason.

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Look who’s number 2 - NE.  If you are looking at what and why they are doing this - look no further than that team.

 

A 21 personnel grouping - keeps the defense in base formation usually and when you spread it out - it gives easy access to the coverage scheme.  

 

If the team goes nickel - then you have the bigger bodies to run it down their throat.  

 

Rewatching the game it was obvious the problems this was causing with the defense as it slowed the blitz and gave Allen easy reads in the passing game- especially when they play with tempo and don’t allow substitution.

 

I think as the season goes on you will see other variations- 2 TEs with Dimarco off and/or Gore and Singletary as the 2 RBs, but they wanted the most experience possible for that first drive to limit stupid penalties and if needed give JA protection.

 

 

Edited by Rochesterfan
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7 minutes ago, Logic said:


I understand the notion that Sweeney offers more in the passing game than DiMarco. In my opinion, though, that is offset by the fact that DiMarco offers more in the run game. Could Sweeney be just as good of a lead blocker as DiMarco? Maybe. We haven't seen evidence that he CAN'T do it, necessarily, but we also haven't seen evidence that he can. 

At the end of the day, I am always reminded that Daboll's offense is essentially the Patriots offense. The Patriots offense has always featured a fullback, not an H-Back. I tend to think that Daboll will continue to follow that blueprint. 


Offensive personnel groupings have been identified numerically for many years.

Sorry you're late to the table and that it bugs you for some reason.

 

I agree with that, but I believe that Pats* line up with 2 TE sets slightly more than they do with the FB.  Pats* #2 TEs get 35%-40% of offensive snap counts and Develin gets about 30%.   Last year they used C Patterson in the weird hybrid role.

 

BTW, my hunch was correct about past weekend - DiMarco was in for 46% of the snaps.  That's way too much given his limitations on offense.

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13 minutes ago, Logic said:


Offensive personnel groupings have been identified numerically for many years.

Sorry you're late to the table and that it bugs you for some reason.

 

Not really. Over broadcast announcers used to refer to 'two tight-end sets' or 'coming out w/3 wideouts' or whathaveyou all the time...it only bugs me to the extent that I prefer plain language over technicalities. 

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14 minutes ago, GG said:

 

I agree with that, but I believe that Pats* line up with 2 TE sets slightly more than they do with the FB.  Pats* #2 TEs get 35%-40% of offensive snap counts and Develin gets about 30%.   Last year they used C Patterson in the weird hybrid role.

 

BTW, my hunch was correct about past weekend - DiMarco was in for 46% of the snaps.  That's way too much given his limitations on offense.

 

What is everyone's problem with DiMarco. I understand his "limitations." But, the offense, even with him on the field, moved the ball better than the Bills have done in years. Certainly as well as Allen has ever moved the offense. If that is consistently replicated, let them do their thing. They are obviously on to something.

 

So much focus is put on DiMarco's ability as a receiver. Almost never is any serious consideration is given to how it allows Allen to read the defense.  This is BY FAR the most important element here, as it eases the pressure of Allen's decisions--the area he lacked the most last year.  

Edited by JoshAllenHasBigHands
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1 hour ago, BearNorth said:

Duke Williams has the size to be a decent blocker in 21, not sure why he's not a better option than DiMarco in 21

.

It's maybe because he's he's a WR and not a RB.   Could see Yeldon or Knox as the H Back type with Singletary next week in 21 formation if they choose to use them instead of DiMarco

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24 minutes ago, GG said:

 

I agree with that, but I believe that Pats* line up with 2 TE sets slightly more than they do with the FB.  Pats* #2 TEs get 35%-40% of offensive snap counts and Develin gets about 30%.   Last year they used C Patterson in the weird hybrid role.

 

BTW, my hunch was correct about past weekend - DiMarco was in for 46% of the snaps.  That's way too much given his limitations on offense.

 

 

Not with this personnel - this week they ran zero 2 TE formations in NE.  They ran a lot of 2 RB 1 TE and a lot of 2 RB 0 TE with 3 WR. 

 

They take their strength and then match it against your weakness.

 

Give it time and as these young players learn more and are more comfortable- the formations will change, but right now DiMarco has the most experience in this offense and can do things others can’t if you tighten the formation down.

Edited by Rochesterfan
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20 minutes ago, GoBills808 said:

 

Not really. Over broadcast announcers used to refer to 'two tight-end sets' or 'coming out w/3 wideouts' or whathaveyou all the time...it only bugs me to the extent that I prefer plain language over technicalities. 

 

 

Because 2 TE sets or 3 WRs does not give you a full picture.  It could be 1 RB/2TE or 2RB/2TE or even 0RB/2TE.  The same with 3 WRs - is it 1 RB and 1TE or is it 2 RB/0 TE.

 

The numbers give a fuller idea of what the package is and that is not needed always for a casual fan watching the game or you can pick it up by seeing 2 RB when in 3 wide, but for discussion and understanding using the number scheme is much better.

Edited by Rochesterfan
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1 minute ago, Rochesterfan said:

 

 

Because 2 TE sets or 3 WRs does not give you a full picture.  It could be 1 RB/2TE or 2RB/2TE or even 0RB/2TE.  The same with 3 WRs - is it 1 RB and 1TE or is it 2 RB/0 TE.

 

The numbers give a fuller idea of what the package is and that is not needed always for a casual fan watching the game or you can pick it up by seeing 2 RB when in 3 wide, but for discussion and understanding using the number scheme is much better.

 

 

...NICELY done RF...damn...you DO know your stuff(already knew that)...much appreciated bro....:thumbsup:

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1 minute ago, Rochesterfan said:

 

 

Because 2 TE sets or 3 WRs does not give you a full picture.  It could be 1 RB/2TE or 2RB/2TE or even 0RB/2TE.  The same with 3 WRs - is it 1 RB and 1TE or is it 2 RB/0 TE.

 

The numbers give a fuller idea of what the package is and that is not needed always for a casual fan watching the game or you can pick it up by seeing 2 RB when in 3 wide, but for discussion and understanding using the number scheme is much better.

I understand the reasoning and it's totally fine and informative for discussions like this one where you can dig into what a particular grouping means in terms of down/distance in context...I just think on TV it's unnecessary.

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19 minutes ago, JoshAllenHasBigHands said:

 

What is everyone's problem with DiMarco. I understand his "limitations." But, the offense, even with him on the field, moved the ball better than the Bills have done in years. Certainly as well as Allen has ever moved the offense. If that is consistently replicated, let them do their thing. They are obviously on to something.

 

So much focus is put on DiMarco's ability as a receiver. Almost never is any serious consideration is given to how it allows Allen to read the defense.  This is BY FAR the most important element here, as it eases the pressure of Allen's decisions--the area he lacked the most last year.  

He is very limited offensively and opponents don't have to worry about him.  It's not like he's the second coming of Larry Centers.  

 

I understand why Daboll trusts him right now.  But it's not an accident that Bills had far more success when his role diminished in the 4th Q.

 

We'll have to continue this discussion when Kroft returns or the rookie TEs let go of their training wheels. 

13 minutes ago, Rochesterfan said:

 

 

Not with this personnel - this week they ran zero 2 TE formations in NE.  They ran a lot of 2 RB 1 TE and a lot of 2 RB 0 TE with 3 WR. 

 

They take their strength and then match it against your weakness.

 

Give it time and as these young players learn more and are more comfortable- the formations will change, but right now DiMarco has the most experience in this offense and can do things others can’t if you tighten the formation down.

It would be criminal for them to roll 2 TEs at the expense of sitting one of the WRs.   That's why they are Pats*. They put their best players in to win the matchups. 

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Singletary seems like he is going to be a great fit. I'm excited to watch him play and I hope the bills continue to use him as a pass option at the RB.

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Count me among those who were ecstatic at how much we were passing on Sunday.

 

It's the only way to play the game now IMO.  It shouldn't be considered an option not to play that way.

 

As the OP said, we don't have to run 17 passing plays in a  row every week, but in general, let's hope this continues.

 

 

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I loved the new look O and Josh Allen has the smarts to run it. He looked extremely comfortable with his audibles and pre snap reads. 

Edited by billsfan_34
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2 minutes ago, PintoJack said:

Singletary seems like he is going to be a great fit. I'm excited to watch him play and I hope the bills continue to use him as a pass option at the RB.

 

 

...just hope it is earlier and more often...........stay tuned.........

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1 minute ago, OldTimeAFLGuy said:

 

 

...just hope it is earlier and more often...........stay tuned.........

It should be. He is potentially dangerous in that role.

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1 minute ago, OldTimeAFLGuy said:

 

 

...just hope it is earlier and more often...........stay tuned.........

The more we get everyone involved the better. I hope Croft is back soon and stays healthy. I would also like to see Foster more. 

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Not really new.......Kevin Gilbride tried to do the same thing here in 2003.

 

Worked a little bit........until it didn't.

 

Maybe Allen can do a better TB12 impersonation than Bledsoe.

 

 

 

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