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A few thoughts about the Titans game, in no particular order


Virgil
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McD said Boogie and AJ were inactive because they wanted to go with bigger bodies to try and matchup better to stop Henry. Outside of 2 runs, the 76 yarder and the 20 yarder they did a decent job, Tennessee was in 3re and long a lot.

 

Also statistically the Bills had a 75% chance of converting and a 63% chance of winning by going for it on that play versus a 42% chance of winning if they kicked the FG. Easy to say it's the wrong call because it didn't work but statistically they would make it much more often than not.

Edited by Big Turk
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2 minutes ago, Big Turk said:

McD said Boogie and AJ were inactive because they wanted to go with bigger bodies to try and matchup better to stop Henry. Outside of 2 runs, the 76 yarder and the 20 yarder they did a decent job, Tennessee was in 3re and long a lot.

 

Also statistically the Bills had a 75% chance of converting and a 63% chance of winning by going for it on that play versus a 42% chance of winning if they kicked the FG. Easy to say it's the wrong call because it didn't work but statistically they would make it much more often than not.

We tried that game plan last year and it also worked….. and yet the Titans hung 41 on us and Tannehill moved the ball at will with all day to throw…..with essentially the same game plan they got the same results. Dumb, IMO.

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Great writeup as usual, Virgil.

 

I have no fundamental disagreements, but several points: 

 

7 minutes ago, Virgil said:

Statistics, trends, analytics, whatever you want to call them; they are great for planning and creating your overall strategy.  However, once the game begins and new information arrives, you have to make adjustments based upon what you are seeing in the moment.  If there's one things I don't believe we did in this loss, it's adjust to what was happening in the moment. 

 

Agree, completely.  To get nerdy for a minute, you're describing the difference between classic probability, and Baysian probability.   The heart of Baysian probability is to calculate a prior probability distribution; when new information becomes available, you then calculate a new probability distribution.  To me, the Bills previous lack of success in "and 1" situations in the game indicated that Allen's overall success in converting "and 1"s or "4th and 1s" should be modified by the observed lack of success in that game.  The Titans were absolutely prepared, not only for the QB sneak but for the QB sneak to that particular gap (knowing Allen's tendencies).  Therefore the highest probability call was likely to go for it, but use a different play. (hold this thought)

 

7 minutes ago, Virgil said:

1 - Trenches - This game was lost in the trenches on both sides of the ball.  The Titans had three guys with their hands planted and one roaming fourth defender come at Josh for most of the game.  In some cases, that was enough as the Bills offensive line struggled to pick up the stunt.  There were a few plays that Allen looked deep, but had to get rid of the ball or got hit as he threw.  The line didn't get much push as Motor and Moss were relatively ineffective all game, even though Daboll kept pushing it up until the last drive.  Similar to the Steelers game, and what we will probably see against the Bucs, our offensive line is still not able to win the 5 on 4 match-ups, allowing the opposing defenses to drop 7 into coverage, with two safeties deep.

 

Absolutely.  Our OL absolutely did not bring their "A" game.  It's quite disturbing.  (As far as Moss being relatively ineffective all game - hold this thought too)

 

Let me put it out there: if our OL can not adjust to give Allen adequate time against pressure from 4 or 5 DLmen, we will not win anything.  Evidently the coaches believed the Pittsburgh Problem was Ford-Williams and that Dawkins-Feliciano would improve and be decent.  Um.

 

And as for our lack of defensive pressure, I can only say 🤮.  I will say I notice from our D that after a game when they play out of their minds (as they did vs KC) they seem to often have a letdown.  Whether this is due to sheer need for more physical recovery, the "party hat" phenomenon (a little too much time "feeling" recent success vs laser focus on the next step), or coaching letdown (where the coaches go above and beyond one week and take off a bit mentally next week), can't say.

 

7 minutes ago, Virgil said:

Additionally, I don't understand Boogie and AJ being inactive for this game. 

 

I think they don't trust AJ to hold up against the run yet, especially against a big fast running back like Henry.  And they wanted Phillps against the run.  Not sure they got what they wanted.

 

7 minutes ago, Virgil said:

6 - Defensive Formation - The Bills ran a lot of a formation that looked similar to a 4-4.  We had 4 guys on the line and 4 guys (mixture of safety/linebacker/DB) about 5 yards back parallel to the line of scrimmage.  It was an interesting stacked box that could commit to stopping Henry or drop back into coverage.  On some plays, in fact for most of the first half, it did a good job of slowing the Titans offense down.  Honestly, if you take the Allen interception and Henry big run out of the first half, the Bills defense did a great job to start the game.  In the second half, the Titans made adjustments, our guys got slower as the rushing attack beat on them, and the pass rush was non-existent.  The strategy was there, but the execution by the front four wasn't.

 

What's a bit frustrating to me, unless he had some "ding" that didn't make it to injury report, was Klein getting only 6% of the snaps after how well he played last week.  If the line was getting gassed, why not substitute him in?  He's not as fast as Milano, but he partly makes up for it with his football IQ and he may be faster than a gassed Milano.

 

7 minutes ago, Virgil said:

7 - Best Shot - I don't watch the Titans and generally don't like them as a team, so this is completely based off of body language and what I saw on the field.  There's no question in my mind that we got the Titan's absolute best game.  Vrabel's face on the sidelines showed as much as he seemed to live and die with every play.  The Titans played out of their minds and we still had multiple chances to put this game away.  Unlike when we lost to the Chiefs twice last year and it looked like they had our number, the recent 0-2 against the Titans doesn't feel the same way to me.  We controlled the outcome of this game and many aspects of our team didn't perform well.  It's tough to lose to a likely division winner when we are in an ongoing battle for the one seed, but I do not believe for a second that we lost to a better team.

 

We are going to be getting the "Best Game" from a lot of teams this year.  That's why it's so tough to repeat a positive result in the NFL.

 

7 minutes ago, Virgil said:

9 - Offensive Line - Spencer Brown, the golden child by many, had a rough game out there.  He allowed a pressure which led to an interception.  Morse and Mongo couldn't communicate on stunt plays, letting guys run free to Josh.  Dawkins got destroyed on the final play.  Overall, in the second week of their new look starting lineup, the Bills front 5 were didn't show up when it mattered most and it showed on the final scoreboard.  With no rushing attack, Allen was his normal pass happy self and made some throws to counter the pass rush.  However, with a better effort up front, we could have easily seen a better outcome.

 

Wasn't that the 3rd week?  Oh, I guess Mongo was out for WFT.  Brown is a rookie, and he's gonna get beat sometime while he's doing the OJT, but no excuse for Morse and Mongo or for Dawkins.

 

7 minutes ago, Virgil said:

10 - The play - Would I have gone for in 4th down at the end of the game?  No.  I'm conservative like that and I chose to trust my entire team and let them play it out, versus putting all their efforts into one play.  I don't blame McD for going for it and understand why.  We are allowed to agree to disagree on this one.  However, I have an issue with the play call.  Like I said in the intro, past game stats are great indicators for future strategy, but this game showed something different.  After watching this entire game, it was hard to bet money on the Bills offensive line winning a battle for the game.  There's a lot of questions around why the play failed.  Was it Allen slipping or Dawkins getting blown off the ball from the snap.  What I know is this. The Titans only had 4 players on the line versus our 5 and we still couldn't get a push.  Even if Allen didn't slip, you can't say he would have gotten it.  Regardless of the outcome, McD shouldn't have gambled the game on us winning in the trenches because the entire game showed you we'd lose.  Let Allen play fake and then make the choice.  The minute they went to the line, everyone in the stadium knew Allen was going to sneak it over Mongo, including the Titans.

 

This goes back to my first point about Baysian vs classic probability.  I agree with you.

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Big Turk said:

McD said Boogie and AJ were inactive because they wanted to go with bigger bodies to try and matchup better to stop Henry. Outside of 2 runs, the 76 yarder and the 20 yarder they did a decent job, Tennessee was in 3re and long a lot.

 

Also statistically the Bills had a 75% chance of converting and a 63% chance of winning by going for it on that play versus a 42% chance of winning if they kicked the FG. Easy to say it's the wrong call because it didn't work but statistically they would make it much more often than not.


I get why they went for it and know I’m in the conservative minority, it’s how where they chose to attack is my bigger problem.  
 

When Henry scores 3 touchdowns, it’s hard to say they did a good job against him.  But I see the point you are trying to make 

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6 minutes ago, Big Turk said:

Also statistically the Bills had a 75% chance of converting and a 63% chance of winning by going for it on that play versus a 42% chance of winning if they kicked the FG. Easy to say it's the wrong call because it didn't work but statistically they would make it much more often than not.

 

Again, this goes to my point - if you don't like the Baysian probability thing, call it macro-probability (overall success against any team we've played) vs micro-probability (probability of success given in-game observations against this specific opponent in this game).

 

IMHO the overall analytics need to be modified to account for new in-game information of how the OL is performing against this team on this day.

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Virgil said:

In full transparency, this game absolutely pissed me off.  I could feel it coming all day and the deja vu heading into a bye week is not a great feeling.  I felt like we were the better team but couldn't execute or adjust to the Titans play calling.  How we couldn't cover AJ on 3rd down in the 2nd half, time after time after time again was infuriating.  Henry getting his yards was to be expected.  And the last call will stick with me for a while.  Seeing Tannehill smile on the sidelines after a pedestrian day made me want to break my TV and I had to just put myself to bed.  I shouldn't care about the narrative and didn't expect to go 16-1, but I wanted this game.  Hopefully it will keep the Bills honest and lead to necessary changes in game plan. 

 

Go Bills!!!!

 

I was bummed more than pissed.  Buffalo dominated nearly every meaningful statistic and the game shouldn't have been close - let alone a loss.

 

Tannehill's sideline celebrations pissed me off.  He sucked.  They won despite his play; not because of it.  Eff him.  And eff Vrabel for attempting the lateral on the kickoff return.  He is a douche and I can't stand his steroid-riddled ass.

 

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11 minutes ago, Big Turk said:

McD said Boogie and AJ were inactive because they wanted to go with bigger bodies to try and matchup better to stop Henry. Outside of 2 runs, the 76 yarder and the 20 yarder they did a decent job, Tennessee was in 3re and long a lot.

 

Also statistically the Bills had a 75% chance of converting and a 63% chance of winning by going for it on that play versus a 42% chance of winning if they kicked the FG. Easy to say it's the wrong call because it didn't work but statistically they would make it much more often than not.

Don't forget the last TD run. Other than that, how did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

Just now, Gugny said:

 

I was bummed more than pissed.  Buffalo dominated nearly every meaningful statistic and the game shouldn't have been close - let alone a loss.

 

Tannehill's sideline celebrations pissed me off.  He sucked.  They won despite his play; not because of it.  Eff him.  And eff Vrabel for attempting the lateral on the kickoff return.  He is a douche and I can't stand his steroid-riddled ass.

 

Most meaningful statistic is points off of turnovers, and the Bills lost it, 7-3.

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There's no way a team this talented on offense should settle for field goals. But we are essentially one dimensional without a solid running game. We just happen to have an other worldly QB who in most games gets enough protection. Completely agree, that lack of adjustments killed us.

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14 minutes ago, Big Turk said:

Also statistically the Bills had a 75% chance of converting and a 63% chance of winning by going for it on that play versus a 42% chance of winning if they kicked the FG. Easy to say it's the wrong call because it didn't work but statistically they would make it much more often than not.

I’m not understanding the 42% percent rate. Can you walk me through how you got that number? It seems before the coin flip, the chances should be 50/50 for either team. 

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18 minutes ago, Hapless Bills Fan said:

 

Again, this goes to my point - if you don't like the Baysian probability thing, call it macro-probability (overall success against any team we've played) vs micro-probability (probability of success given in-game observations against this specific opponent in this game).

 

IMHO the overall analytics need to be modified to account for new in-game information of how the OL is performing against this team on this day.

 

 

‘Micro-probability’ is fancy way to say that Head Coach can have the stat guy in his ear telling him the probability, but the Coach also has to use his eyes and realize those probabilities don’t compute with what’s happening in the game.  I’m guessing it was taking Bills forever to decline or accept a couple penalties last night because McDermott was waiting on the probabilities to come in from that stat guy.  

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57 minutes ago, Virgil said:

10 - The play -  Let Allen play fake and then make the choice.  The minute they went to the line, everyone in the stadium knew Allen was going to sneak it over Mongo, including the Titans.

 

I said the same thing as soon as they lined up. EVERYONE knew the play was a QB sneak. Hindsight is 20/20 of course, but I would have ran it to the outside.

 

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17 minutes ago, Saint Doug said:

I’m not understanding the 42% percent rate. Can you walk me through how you got that number? It seems before the coin flip, the chances should be 50/50 for either team. 

 

I didn't come up with the numbers..that was how analytics had it in a tweet I saw

 

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Our problem in the red zone is we have no real run game. People talk about our YPC but a lot those yards are gifted to us by defenses that are overplaying the pass. When the deep passing windows go away, we see what the run game is really made of. Every time we hand the ball off in the red zone it is a complete waste of a down. But I can't blame Daboll too much, if we just pass it every time defenses can tee off. I don't have statistics on this but it feels like a lot of our TDs this year have been from 20+ yards out. Once we get inside the 10 yard line our offensive identity doesn't work.

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