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Jim Kubiak: How Bills used unique RPO concepts; how Titans made Josh Allen uncomfortable


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This week's Jim Kubiak Analysis from TBN

 

https://buffalonews.com/sports/bills/jim-kubiak-how-bills-used-unique-rpo-concepts-how-titans-made-josh-allen-uncomfortable/article_74cf078c-3136-11ec-81e1-7f49b77924f9.html

 

Some interesting breakdown of Daboll's use of RPOs early in the game.

 

Key assessment of the 4th and inches play (Kubiak incorrectly calls it "fourth and goal"):

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In spite of it all, Allen came roaring back. With seconds remaining, on fourth-and-goal, Daboll called Allen’s number on a quarterback wedge.

 

On the road, with the best quarterback in the NFL, you absolutely go for the win. The offensive linemen were tasked to step down to the inside gap, creating a “V” type wedge for the quarterback to fall forward. The key point here was that the offensive linemen cannot allow penetration across their face into their inside gap. Unfortunately for the Bills, Dawkins was beaten badly to his inside gap and subsequently pushed backward onto his back. This missed block caused Allen’s slip and he fell short.

 

For those who say it never should have come to that on the 2nd to last drive, Kubiak appears to agree with you:

Quote

On first-and-10 from the Bills’ 37-yard line, Allen was sacked. Singletary and Sweeney released into the flat for checkdowns, as the Titans rushed only four defenders. This meant that the Titans dropped seven into zone coverage. The smart play here for Allen would have been to get the ball underneath the coverage. He waited too long, tried to do too much and was subsequently sacked.

 

The next play, on second-and-17, Allen, again, was trying to hit a big play, this time waiting for Sanders to get down the middle of the field. This forced throw was nearly intercepted. When you look at the video, you can see both Sweeney and Singletary open in the flats under the coverage. A completion here would have made the next play a more manageable third-down situation.
 

On the next play, third-and-17, the Bills were in a three receiver alignment to Allen’s right, and they released Singletary on a swing to the three-receiver side. Allen had the option of hitting Singletary under the Titans deep coverage, which would have given him an opportunity to run for the first down after the catch. Allen chose a more difficult comeback route at the first down markers that was incomplete and well out of bounds. 
 

This three-play sequence of trying to force the ball into deep zone coverage was exactly what the Titans were hoping for from Allen, an MVP candidate trying to do MVP type things. The deep coverage worked in that the Titans were able to take away the big play and only give Allen the short underneath opportunities, which he did not take.

This was not great defense, it was a lapse in judgement for what should have been the necessary decisions to move the ball against those deep, zone defenses.

 

Kubiak ends "Allen and the Bills were still the better team, despite the loss."  I don't know that I can agree; game has 3 phases and our D was a sieve.  We need to be better there.

 

The article has great video clips and play diagrams  and is well worth the trial subscription IMHO.  (Full disclosure some people have complained it is an ad-riddled, slow to load bad website but it behaves perfectly for me.  I do use ad blockers on my 'puter and the latest iOS on my idevices.)

 

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What I took away is the final paragraph. Spot on. 

 

The NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint. As the Bills head off into their bye week, rest assured this painful loss will be felt across the organization and it will undoubtedly stoke the fire for a postseason run.

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What I took away from this, and I only read OPs quotes, is that Allen was trying to make too many big plays. Which honestly seems like his m.o.

He has been learning to go with what the Defense gives him, he just need to do it more often. 

I really feel, had he hit those shorter passes,  they could have extended more drives, took more time off the clock and so on. 

I have no doubt that this game will help him even more in making that adjustment, taking what is given and not trying to force it.

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7 minutes ago, the_D said:

What I took away from this, and I only read OPs quotes, is that Allen was trying to make too many big plays. Which honestly seems like his m.o.

He has been learning to go with what the Defense gives him, he just need to do it more often. 

I really feel, had he hit those shorter passes,  they could have extended more drives, took more time off the clock and so on. 

I have no doubt that this game will help him even more in making that adjustment, taking what is given and not trying to force it.

 

I feel the same was true earlier in the game - there was a 3rd and 5 in the RZ I think where he wound up throwing the ball away.  He had Moss in the flats with a ton of green grass in front of him.  Moss gets up a head of steam and even if he's tackled behind the line of gain, chances are good he churns his legs and gets the 1st down.

 

Josh needs to learn to take what the defense is serving up to him on a fine China platter

 

I think your interpretation is accurate, but there's a ***** ton of good stuff in there about a bunch of the good things Allen did.

59 minutes ago, Einstein said:

If that was Allen uncomfortable, that’s scary.

 

74%, 370+ total yards, 3 TD’s.

 

Yeah, Kubiak doesn't say this, but it spotlights the Elephant in the Room - that the real problem was that 31 points wasn't enough.

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2 hours ago, Einstein said:

If that was Allen uncomfortable, that’s scary.

 

74%, 370+ total yards, 3 TD’s.

Great numbers indeed.  But Einstein should know that decision making is also important and not always reflected  on the stat sheet.  That 2nd last drive could have iced the game.  You have to take what’s given and be patient.  Allen is still learning. 

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1 hour ago, Bob in STL said:

Great numbers indeed.  But Einstein should know that decision making is also important and not always reflected  on the stat sheet.  That 2nd last drive could have iced the game.  You have to take what’s given and be patient.  Allen is still learning. 

Hero ball always creeps on the scene

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4 minutes ago, Solomon Grundy said:

Hero ball always creeps on the scene

 

That's part of it.  I think another part is that he hasn't played much with guys who could reliably get YAC (sometimes on him, due to ball placement).  So I think in part, he's trained himself to look for throws that will move the chains without YAC.

 

1 hour ago, Bob in STL said:

Great numbers indeed.  But Einstein should know that decision making is also important and not always reflected  on the stat sheet.  That 2nd last drive could have iced the game.  You have to take what’s given and be patient.  Allen is still learning. 

 

That's very true, but it's also true that the Elephant in the Room is that the 2nd to last drive needed points because our defense couldn't stop a nosebleed.

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52 minutes ago, Solomon Grundy said:

Hero ball always creeps on the scene

There were a few short WIDE OPEN throws he missed trying to go deep. Dont forget the play Sanders was WIDE open in the back of the end zone and Josh just didn't see him. Hes absolutely better but there is a lot to work on to be great

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6 hours ago, Einstein said:

If that was Allen uncomfortable, that’s scary.

 

74%, 370+ total yards, 3 TD’s.

I would say he was uncomfortable a fair bit from the defensive line, but the poor secondary play neutralized that

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6 hours ago, Bob in STL said:

Great numbers indeed.  But Einstein should know that decision making is also important and not always reflected  on the stat sheet.  That 2nd last drive could have iced the game.  You have to take what’s given and be patient.  Allen is still learning. 

True but I remember him hitting that deep shot to John Brown in the first Fins game last year icing the game.  I don't mind going for the kill shot.  However, in this instance I agree with you in that he should've just taken what's given since the Titans were obviously protecting against the deep ball.

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10 hours ago, Draconator said:

What I took away is the final paragraph. Spot on. 

 

The NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint. As the Bills head off into their bye week, rest assured this painful loss will be felt across the organization and it will undoubtedly stoke the fire for a postseason run.

Kind of like last year going into our bye week off of the Hail Murray

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7 hours ago, Hapless Bills Fan said:

 

That's part of it.  I think another part is that he hasn't played much with guys who could reliably get YAC (sometimes on him, due to ball placement).  So I think in part, he's trained himself to look for throws that will move the chains without YAC.

 

 

That's very true, but it's also true that the Elephant in the Room is that the 2nd to last drive needed points because our defense couldn't stop a nosebleed.

On the sack play on the second last posession, Sanders was wide open for 15-20 yard gain. 

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11 hours ago, Hapless Bills Fan said:

This week's Jim Kubiak Analysis from TBN

 

https://buffalonews.com/sports/bills/jim-kubiak-how-bills-used-unique-rpo-concepts-how-titans-made-josh-allen-uncomfortable/article_74cf078c-3136-11ec-81e1-7f49b77924f9.html

 

Some interesting breakdown of Daboll's use of RPOs early in the game.

 

Key assessment of the 4th and inches play (Kubiak incorrectly calls it "fourth and goal"):

 

For those who say it never should have come to that on the 2nd to last drive, Kubiak appears to agree with you:

 

Kubiak ends "Allen and the Bills were still the better team, despite the loss."  I don't know that I can agree; game has 3 phases and our D was a sieve.  We need to be better there.

 

The article has great video clips and play diagrams  and is well worth the trial subscription IMHO.  (Full disclosure some people have complained it is an ad-riddled, slow to load bad website but it behaves perfectly for me.  I do use ad blockers on my 'puter and the latest iOS on my idevices.)

 

Well… the Titans defense was a sieve as well. They were just as awful as the Bills defense…. If these two teams played again I’d bet hard on the Bills.

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Kubiak's analysis is awesome.  I feel like I much better understand what happened in the game after reading his stuff, because as just your average fan, I find it hard to judge based on my "lay" observations.  It always amazes me how many folks on this Board seem to see so much more and seemingly know who messed up on a play.  I mean I can see the obvious, but the subtleties of game I need guidance from a guy like Kubiak.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Watkins101 said:

I would say he was uncomfortable a fair bit from the defensive line, but the poor secondary play neutralized that

Late 1st half he was def feeling the rush and started back peddling backwards with the slightest bit of pressure, but that seemed to resolve in the 2nd half.

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This whole article is the reason all week, when I think of the game, I have been shaking my head and saying to myself “just get it done”.   It felt like there were way too many things that could and should of happened.  If you are good be good already!
 

It’s an odd feeling when your expectations are “we should win this game” after decades to the contrary.  It makes losses even harder to comprehend.  
 

But, marathon season…I suppose but are you good good?   Or you just sort of good?
 

Long bye week to gnaw on that one.  
 

Go Bills!

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12 hours ago, Hapless Bills Fan said:

This week's Jim Kubiak Analysis from TBN

 

https://buffalonews.com/sports/bills/jim-kubiak-how-bills-used-unique-rpo-concepts-how-titans-made-josh-allen-uncomfortable/article_74cf078c-3136-11ec-81e1-7f49b77924f9.html

 

Some interesting breakdown of Daboll's use of RPOs early in the game.

 

Key assessment of the 4th and inches play (Kubiak incorrectly calls it "fourth and goal"):

 

For those who say it never should have come to that on the 2nd to last drive, Kubiak appears to agree with you:

 

Kubiak ends "Allen and the Bills were still the better team, despite the loss."  I don't know that I can agree; game has 3 phases and our D was a sieve.  We need to be better there.

 

The article has great video clips and play diagrams  and is well worth the trial subscription IMHO.  (Full disclosure some people have complained it is an ad-riddled, slow to load bad website but it behaves perfectly for me.  I do use ad blockers on my 'puter and the latest iOS on my idevices.)

 

I absolutely thought the Bills were the better team.  A couple of points about that.

 

Offensively, the Bills were excellent.   Allen just reverted to his high school days.   That three-play sequence he went against all the principles he's been taught in the last few years.   And the quarterback sneak was his misperceiving the situation - he shouldn't have checked down.  

 

As for the defense, it was pretty simple, and ESPN showed it on one replay late in the game.   By the fourth quarter, the Bills were overreacting so much to the play fake that they were leaving the huge expanses of open field underneath the safeties and corners, and Tannehill was having no trouble finding open receivers for easy completions.  I say overreacting because as I've thought more about the game and looked at the stats, I realized that Henry didn't kill the Bills.   It fell like he did, but the numbers say otherwise.   He had a yard run.  Take that away, and he gained 3.5 yards per carry.   The Bills stopped him a lot at the LOS, and he got a few 10-yard runs or so.   

 

I'm not so sure they needed to react that way.   I've never understood the difference between run blitzes and pass blitzes, but it seems to me that if the Bills had blitzed more, they could have maintained their ability to control Henry by denying him gaps, AND they could have put more pressure on Tannehill, making it tougher for him to make the downfield throws.   The Bills rushed four pretty much all night, and they got close to Tannehill often, but didn't really make him uncomfortable.   I think they could have brought 5 and 6 more often and made him get rid of the ball earlier, or sacked him, and maybe even taken the ball away.   

 

Yes, in the fourth quarter the defense was a sieve, but I don't think it had to be that way. 

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26 minutes ago, Shaw66 said:

I absolutely thought the Bills were the better team.  A couple of points about that.

 

Offensively, the Bills were excellent.   Allen just reverted to his high school days.   That three-play sequence he went against all the principles he's been taught in the last few years.   And the quarterback sneak was his misperceiving the situation - he shouldn't have checked down. 

 

I've asked this elsewhere and didn't see an answer.  Whence comes the info that Allen checked into that QB sneak play?  Thanks.

 

26 minutes ago, Shaw66 said:

As for the defense, it was pretty simple, and ESPN showed it on one replay late in the game.   By the fourth quarter, the Bills were overreacting so much to the play fake that they were leaving the huge expanses of open field underneath the safeties and corners, and Tannehill was having no trouble finding open receivers for easy completions.  I say overreacting because as I've thought more about the game and looked at the stats, I realized that Henry didn't kill the Bills.   It fell like he did, but the numbers say otherwise.   He had a yard run.  Take that away, and he gained 3.5 yards per carry.   The Bills stopped him a lot at the LOS, and he got a few 10-yard runs or so. 

 

That's a bit like saying "Other than That, Mrs. Lincoln, How did you Like the Play?

 

26 minutes ago, Shaw66 said:

I'm not so sure they needed to react that way.   I've never understood the difference between run blitzes and pass blitzes, but it seems to me that if the Bills had blitzed more, they could have maintained their ability to control Henry by denying him gaps, AND they could have put more pressure on Tannehill, making it tougher for him to make the downfield throws.   The Bills rushed four pretty much all night, and they got close to Tannehill often, but didn't really make him uncomfortable.   I think they could have brought 5 and 6 more often and made him get rid of the ball earlier, or sacked him, and maybe even taken the ball away.  

 

Yes, in the fourth quarter entire second half the defense was a sieve, but I don't think it had to be that way. 

 

FIFY

 

Seriously though, you bring up a point.  Leslie Frazier even said, in a piece on the Bills at halftime, that they don't like to adjust the gameplan.  He cast it as causing the players to "lose confidence" by the message "we worked on this all week and now you're changing it already?"

 

But another way to look at it is, if something was worked on all week, and isn't stopping the opponent, wouldn't the guys charged with executing the gameplan prefer a change to something that might better suit what the opponent is actually doing?

 

This seems as though it could be a flawed philosophy for the D.

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