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corta765

The Defense What Is Going On & One Quick Allen Note

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Well the Bills did it again... they manage to take another year off my life and make my blood pressure do bad things but they won haha.

 

For real it was a wild crazy out of control chaotic day but 3-0 is 3-0 and our QB is balling and the offense is fun. But the defense.. eh .

 

Heading into this season I kinda thought offenses in general for once would have a leg up on defenses. In general the NFL is known for the top offenses starting up quick early in the season and then things balance by mid season. But this year is really different with 10 of the teams that won this week having 30 or more points and only five teams scoring under 20 pts with Giants Jags Jets & Broncos being 4 of the 5 teams which should be no surprise to low scoring. Teams with defined homefield advantages like Buffalo, Seattle, KC, & NOLA have little to no fans giving offenses which otherwise would have issue communicating and have false start issues a much easier day. So league wide its a year which early on offenses across the board seem to be having some legitimate perks and defenses all over are struggling.

 

That brings us to the Bills defense which outside of quarter 1 against the Jets has been very EH to yikes Uh Oh this week against the Rams. While I do believe Buffalo's defense will round into shape, concern is warranted at this point and we may be looking at more of a top 15 group instead of top 5. The defense which usually looks very crisp and in control has never seemed in synch this season and even the Jets game it seemed more talent beating a badly talented Jets team then the unit performing as one. Since McD has taken over generally the defense has shined and the success is the unit functioning as one. I have not seen that this year and here are my reasons why:

 

  • No preseason really hurt the Bills D which saw the D line lose Shaq, Phillips, & Star guys who have started for the last 2 seasons for them. I believe with four preseason games it would ironed out the issues we currently see
  • With Lorenzo retiring the defense seems to be not rudderless but redefining who drives it leadership wise. Edmunds is that guy, but injuries are without a doubt limiting him. I don't doubt the impact of a Kyle W or Zo to bringing the guys up when things are tight
  • The defense has went from being use to the offense churning the clock keeping them off the field to an offense which is scoring and at points quickly. Another area I think they will adjust and fix it just is different compared to 3 years of playing ball control meaning your on the field more
  • The defensive line in general is transitioning with a lot of new faces. Mario Addison has been very good in my opinion, but the rest its a mix bag that needs to find their way which includes Harry who is playing his first real football in a year
  • The last two weeks they played two offensive minds that excel during the start of the season at finding your weaknesses and showing exotic packages. Chan Gailey is historically very good at finding advantages early on and McVay is a wunderkid offensively. As the season goes and the offenses put more on tape the defense will not be caught off guard as much but they did take on two really good minds. They will face more smart minds coming up (Reid & BB) but especially early on that is a test which doesn't favor us.

 

With all that said the CB2 spot looks really shaky, Micah Hyde has looked awful this year allowing plays he usually breaks up, and for the second straight week I had zero confidence in our D come the 4th quarter. The Dolphins game I was concerned that after Allen and crew got the Bills up 31-21 the Bills D again allowed a TD to let it be too close. I get allowing yards in prevent D, but this unit for the last 3 years was lights out once teams crossed midfield. They are just not in synch and in the flow we usually expect.

 

So yea I am concerned at this point but I do have faith they will get it together. The Raiders have a good ground game, but they don't have the minds in offense compared to the last two weeks. You know the defense which is extremely prideful of its play will have an axe to grind this week and as they get healthier at LB and CB it should help. McD has done a nice job refocusing the defense any time it has struggled and I do not doubt they stop being a sieve. I do worry that they may not have the horses to be shutdown the way they have as Star's presence to eat space is missed and their is credence to their numbers being slightly inflated given the opponents last year. At the same time the defense last year shut down Lamar Jackson enough that teams copied what Buffalo did so it should hopefully comeback.

 

Quick Allen Note: As a fan who lived the drought in its entirety I still get nervous with our QB for no reason other then two decades of poor QB play and failure. Watching Allen play and succeed is really rewarding for just the simple fact you can't count him out and his physical ability to do anything is wild.

Edited by corta765
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I think what the Bills have done is to sacrifice big bodies for flexibility up front on the DLine.  Star is being missed in his ability to take up 2 blockers in the run game.  Overall, I think the Bills will get things figured out for a few reasons.  First is they have excellent coaches on that side of the ball. I can't see a situation where they continue to perform this poorly over the entire season.  Secondly, I think lack of a preseason has really hurt defenses more than offenses as the NFL has set a new points scored record through 2 weeks and pretty sure with all the shootouts in week 3, it will extend through week 3. Thirdly, I think the Bills are willing to give up runs to prevent deep pass plays, but these intermediate passes are starting to hurt them a lot more than in previous years where coverage was mostly lockdown.

 

I think by midseason the Bills will be much improved on D.

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McD's big nickel defense is susceptible to off tackle runs to the slot DB side.  The Rams ran there repeatedly with success.  I think T. Johnson had 11 tackles shortly after half time.  Edmunds did not appear to be moving well.  His best plays were made when it didn't require much lateral movement.  Hopefully another week to heal will help him.  Hyde looked bad again this week.  He has been slow to react to the intermediate passes over the middle.  He was playing pretty deep against a team that doesn't have a real deep threat.  The Rams also took advantage of the DE's that were crashing down on the running plays.  Even after giving up a couple of bigger gains on sweeps, they made no adjustment.  In general, the defense looked like they were content to play soft pass coverage, avoid big plays, rely on the big lead, and watch the clock run out on the Rams.  Two turnovers made that strategy look like a poor choice.  Even with all of that, McD will make the right moves to correct the issues.

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anybody care to check out defense (or lack thereof) from around the league

 

seems to be a systemic problem

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Another detail to keep in mind is the very noticeable fatigue of the defense beginning early in the second half. I can't speak on the x's and o's of what was happening on the field, but the incessant pressure brought on by Henderson and the successive long drives completely gassed the defense (the commentators mentioned it at one point). They are pros, but anyone who's played sports knows all too well how ineffective you are when your body is exhausted. I attribute their breakdown to this more than anything, but perhaps more insightful viewers picked up on other issues.

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As of week 3 (and caveat that Baltimore plays KC tonight), don't yet see a true dominant defense.  Doesn't mean that any defenses are not getting sacks or turnovers.  Just none are yet dominant.  Someone mentioned by mid season Defenses will probably be improved, I agree with that.

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Incredible game. The Bills ability to get completions at will is really amazing. The defense lets up when they have a 28 point league and then picks their shots. Give credit to Wallace for the INT. Got to pick your shots.

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28 minutes ago, BillsinChesterSprings said:

As of week 3 (and caveat that Baltimore plays KC tonight), don't yet see a true dominant defense.  Doesn't mean that any defenses are not getting sacks or turnovers.  Just none are yet dominant.  Someone mentioned by mid season Defenses will probably be improved, I agree with that.

 

 

Good point its why I wonder/believe that the lack of preseason gave offenses a major advantage to start the season. Defenses just do not looked gelled across the board.

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The defense didnt allow a touchdown to one of the best offenses in the league until 5 minutes left in the third quarter. That was IMPRESSIVE. 

 

Did they get eaten up after that for an entire quarter? Yes, big time. 

 

But I am tired of hearing people asking whats wrong with the D. Both teams play to win the game, Rams figured something out and we failed to adjust and momentum just smacked us around. Its fine. 

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I think this is actually a pretty fair analysis of our defense from Ryan Talbott (no paywall):

 

https://www.syracuse.com/buffalo-bills/2020/09/tyler-kroft-josh-allen-save-bills-from-meltdown-vs-rams-11-reasons-to-be-encouraged-3-reasons-to-be-worried.html

 

9 minutes ago, PaattMaann said:

The defense didnt allow a touchdown to one of the best offenses in the league until 5 minutes left in the third quarter. That was IMPRESSIVE. 

 

Did they get eaten up after that for an entire quarter? Yes, big time. 

 

But I am tired of hearing people asking whats wrong with the D. Both teams play to win the game, Rams figured something out and we failed to adjust and momentum just smacked us around. Its fine. 

 

Um....isn't there a bit of a contradiction here?  "We failed to adjust" vs. "It's fine"

 

No, if a team figures something out on our D and we fail to adjust, it's NOT fine.  It's a flaw.  Failing to adjust and stop Philly executing the same play over and over and over led to their victory last year.  Similar exploit against Cleveland.  New England killed us all day with slight variations of the same screen play in the 2nd game.  Rams gashed us with runs to the R all day.

 

It's a problem if we can't make decent in-game adjustments on D.  A BIG problem.  Because the top teams recognize that and drill into it.

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5 minutes ago, Hapless Bills Fan said:

I think this is actually a pretty fair analysis of our defense from Ryan Talbott (no paywall):

 

https://www.syracuse.com/buffalo-bills/2020/09/tyler-kroft-josh-allen-save-bills-from-meltdown-vs-rams-11-reasons-to-be-encouraged-3-reasons-to-be-worried.html

 

 

Um....isn't there a bit of a contradiction here?  "We failed to adjust" vs. "It's fine"

 

No, if a team figures something out on our D and we fail to adjust, it's NOT fine.  It's a flaw.  Failing to adjust and stop Philly executing the same play over and over and over led to their victory last year.  Similar exploit against Cleveland.  New England killed us all day with slight variations of the same screen play in the 2nd game.  Rams gashed us with runs to the R all day.

 

It's a problem if we can't make decent in-game adjustments on D.  A BIG problem.  Because the top teams recognize that and drill into it.

 

Again, we checked one of the best offenses in the league for more than 2 and a half quarters. They get paid to play ball to. 

 

But you are right, I should have said "it will be fine". This staff is great at self scouting and figuring out their weaknesses. Im confident they will figure out how they can better keep their defense in a successful situation. 

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the good teams are going to find ways to move the ball; the Rams ran it well the entire game too; so at the very least the term "elite" will no longer be debated on this portal of higher thought.

 

So the question has been answered how good is Daboll and Allen and they have stepped-up this season; Josh is in top 3-4 of all the desirable qb stats; TDs, yards, completion %, QBR, etc

 

So now, how good is our D; where was the pass rush esp the second half ?  should we have blitzed more; why did we give up huge chunks of yards on the ground the entire game when Milano and Edmunds were back which was a problem last year.   They blew-up the screen passes all game, but the middle is wide-open again where the TEs roam.

 

These questions also pertain to the entire NFL where the offenses are really coached and executing well, so the defenses are more challenged than ever...

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14 minutes ago, PaattMaann said:

 

Again, we checked one of the best offenses in the league for more than 2 and a half quarters. They get paid to play ball to. 

 

But you are right, I should have said "it will be fine". This staff is great at self scouting and figuring out their weaknesses. Im confident they will figure out how they can better keep their defense in a successful situation. 

And then they scored 4TDS in a row at will... it's not fine....

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Corta brings up good points. Our DL is light and I never thought I'd ever say this but we miss having Star in there taking up 2 blockers. Another issue that you can't ignore is a lack of fan noise. Defenses rely on this more than you think. Injuries to White and Edmunds has clearly made them extremely vulnerable. You can see it, they're just not right. Our world class safeties also seem a step slower. And lastly our pass rush is not what it was in 18 & 19. To finally have a stellar offense is amazing lead by future star. But if Sean doesn't get his defense in order, there will be more cardiac games which may not always result in a W?

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FATIGUE!

 

At least I'm hoping this is the case. No pre-season and who knows how much guys could do on the off-season.  Hopefully they get their legs back in a couple more weeks But, I thought the defense looked like last year for the first 2.5 quarters. I predicted/called the Rams interception before it happened based on how difficult the Bills were making in on the Rams to even gain 3-4 yards early on.  Regardless, run-D seems to be the weak point of our team... however so long as they can be serviceable then our coaching, blitz schemes, and secondary can cause some legit problems for other teams, especially with our offense keeping the pedal down.

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4 minutes ago, ScottLaw said:

And then they scored 4TDS in a row at will... it's not fine....

 

you are right, I forgot the Rams arent actually an NFL team. They are a modified football team who has no business scoring touchdowns. 

 

Nobody should be happy with the meltdown. I am confident McD is not and will find a solution. 

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42 minutes ago, PaattMaann said:

The defense didnt allow a touchdown to one of the best offenses in the league until 5 minutes left in the third quarter. That was IMPRESSIVE. 

 

Did they get eaten up after that for an entire quarter? Yes, big time. 

 

But I am tired of hearing people asking whats wrong with the D. Both teams play to win the game, Rams figured something out and we failed to adjust and momentum just smacked us around. Its fine. 

Does anyone think that if there had been a minute left on the clock after Kroft’s TD that the Rams would not have at least sent that game to OT?

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2 minutes ago, mannc said:

Does anyone think that if there had been a minute left on the clock after Kroft’s TD that the Rams would not have at least sent that game to OT?

Yea... pretty incredible how fast the Rams erased that 28-3 deficit. The defense looked completely lost in all aspects. 

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What pisses me off overall is it seems we are still in that struggle to have both sides of the ball clicking at the same time. It was a major issue the whole drought. Now that we have top 5 offense potential, our top 5 defense from last year sputters after seemingly improving the roster???

 

Yeah yeah yeah....no preseason, no fans, yada yada yade but the playing field is pretty much level. Fans sprinkled in a few stadiums is no advantage. So what I'm saying is our squad should AT LEAST remain top 5 even in a down year for all defenses. It only makes sense.

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1 minute ago, StHustle said:

What pisses me off overall is it seems we are still in that struggle to have both sides of the ball clicking at the same time. It was a major issue the whole drought. Now that we have top 5 offense potential, our top 5 defense from last year sputters after seemingly improving the roster???

 

Yeah yeah yeah....no preseason, no fans, yada yada yade but the playing field is pretty much level. Fans sprinkled in a few stadiums is no advantage. So what I'm saying is our squad should AT LEAST remain top 5 even in a down year for all defenses. It only makes sense.

Some questionable players are being exposed/haven't improved early to start the season. Namely Edmunds a guy who needs to be solid for this unit to be good. He's been a train wreck for most of this season. 

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